Steve Jobs was not a computer hardware engineer or a software programmer. His true calling was as his generation’s leading technology evangelist and marketing genius extraordinaire.

As the Silicon Valley adage goes, he knew what people wanted before they did. And even if was not invented there — the Achilles’ heel of many technologists — Jobs was wise and prescient enough to know what technology would work in the real world.

In short, he changed the way we work and play. Here’s a look at five technologies that BusinessNewsDaily believes were Apple game changers.

The Original Macintosh (1984)


The introduction of the original one-piece Macintosh heralded the move of computing from an esoteric hobbyist and technophile pastime to a mainstream activity. It also marked the beginnings of the migration of business computing from mainframe to desktop. It was sleek, powerful for its day and easy to use. The winking icon that smiled at users when the Mac started up said it all.

Graphical User Interface/Mouse (1984)


Yes, we know, the graphical user interface (GUI) and mouse really saw first light of day at the Xerox PARC facility. But the genius of origination goes nowhere without its counterpart in application. It was Jobs and Apple that brought the power of the GUI and the mouse to the people with the original Macintosh. And they ended the tyranny of linear limits and C:\>.

iPod/iTunes (2001)


With its extensive music storage capabilities, intuitive user interface and iconic design, Apple's iPod became the dominant digital music device, bringing the MP3 format mainstream and changing the way millions listened to music. Fueling the insatiable appetite of music lovers who found freedom and a sense of choice in buying on a tune-by-tune basis for 99 cents, Apple's iTunes store turned traditional music economics on its head, redefining people's playlist and changing the relationship between artist and audience.

iPhone (2007)


The iPhone didn't invent the smartphone market, but it rapidly came to define it. In the process, it made the phone much more than a phone and showed that technology coolness could go mobile. Its digital demands also made cellphone carriers rethink their infrastructure and sounded the closing bell for the all-you-can-eat pricing banquet.

iPad (2010)


The iPad helped computer users cut the cord. What the Macintosh did for desktop computing, the  iPad did for the tablet market and mobile computing for work and pleasure. It wasn't the first in the space by far, but it staked out bragging rights with the iPad faithful for being the best, criticism of closed systems be damned. It's the way that Jobs knew people wanted it to be.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.