We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

dvd icon choice
cd icon choice
book icon choice
laptop icon choice
header image

Products That Changed Our Lives

As Which? celebrates its 60th anniversary, we look back at some of the products that have changed our lives over six decades of innovation.

Take a walk down memory lane with our 60 products timeline, or scroll on to experience some of the dramatic changes technology has made. We also reveal your vote for the defining product of 2017.

dvd icon choice
cd icon choice
book icon choice
laptop icon choice
Previous
Next

Now you’ve taken a look at four key developments in technology, why now view all 60 products!

x

2007 video streaming service Netflix launches

netflix logo

Netflix has made it a little too easy to catch up with your favourite films and TV shows whenever and wherever you want. And with 2,934 films currently available to watch, it’ll be a long time before you get bored.

If you were to own all of these films on DVD, the cases would stack 44 metres high – that’s taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • Netflix was founded in 1997, and originally focused on DVD rental by mail
  • It has almost 104 million subscribers across 190 countries (July 2017)
  • Users collectively watch than 125 million hours of TV shows and films each day
dvd icon dvd icon
  • Netflix was founded in 1997, and originally focused on DVD rental by mail
  • It has almost 104 million subscribers worldwide, in 190 countries (July 2017)
  • Users watch more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day

Fun fact

If you restricted yourself to one large popcorn per showing, you’d consume over two million calories watching Netflix’s movies. You’d have to run around 24,000 miles to burn that off – or the circumference of Earth!

2008 Music streaming service Spotify launches

spotify icon

Spotify wasn’t the first music streaming service, but with over 30 million songs to stream and download it’s certainly one of the most popular.

Still have a soft spot for CDs? Spotify’s entire collection would equate to around two million albums. The discs alone would stack up to 2,400 metres high – significantly taller than the highest point of the Grand Canyon.

  • Launched in 2008 from Stockholm, Sweden
  • Over 60 million subscribers, and 140 million active users (July 2017)
  • Available in 61 markets
  • In 2016, accounted for 43% of streaming music subscribers worldwide
cd icon cd icon
  • Launched in 2008 from Stockholm, Sweden
  • Over 60 million subscribers, and 140 million active users (July 2017)
  • Available in 61 markets
  • In 2016, accounted for 43% of streaming music subscribers worldwide

Fun fact

If you pressed play on 1 January 2018 and listened to all 30 million Spotify songs in one go, it would take you 171 years to finish.

2009 amazon’s kindle ereader is launched in the uk

kindle icon

All the technology in the world can’t replace the enjoyment of cracking the spine of a good book. But for many, replacing a novel with a collection of hundreds of favourites in a pocket-friendly package is too good to turn down.

If you piled up the 1,500 physical books that the first UK model, the Kindle 2, could store, it would stack up to over 45 metres high.

  • The original Kindle sold out in five and a half hours – it could hold around 200 books
  • There have been 15 different versions of the Kindle released to date
  • The Kindle Paperwhite was the first model with a backlit display. It remains Amazon’s bestselling ereader
book icon book icon
  • The original Kindle sold out in five and a half hours – it could hold around 200 books.
  • There have been 15 different versions of the Kindle released to date
  • The Kindle Paperwhite was the first model with a backlit display. It remains Amazon’s best-selling E-reader

Fun fact

Decided to opt for e-books instead of the traditional tome? Consider yourself an eco-warrior. Filling the Kindle 2 instead of buying the real thing would save around 24 trees worth of paper.

2010 Apple launches the iPad

ipad icon

Remember floppy disks? Those 1.44MB slabs were a go-to storage solution back 1980s, but we’re not sure how useful they’d be today.

To match the 64GB capacity of Apple’s original iPad, you’d have to stack nearly 45,000 floppy disks 147 meters high – tall enough to dwarf the Great Pyramid of Giza.

  • The iPad wasn’t Apple’s first tablet. It launched the Newton in 1993, a device with a 6-inch screen that weighed nearly 1kg.
  • 300,000 iPads were sold in the first day, reaching 8 million after 80 days.
  • To date, cumulative iPad sales total over 300 million worldwide.
floppy disk icon floppy disk icon
  • The iPad wasn’t Apple’s first tablet. It launched the Newton in 1993, a device with a 6” screen that weighed nearly a kilogram.
  • 300,000 iPads were sold in the first day, reaching 8 million after 80 days.
  • To date, cumulative iPad sales total over 300 million worldwide.

Fun fact

The closest modern equivalent to the floppy disk is the memory card. A 32GB microSD card costs just £10 – buying the equivalent capacity in floppy discs today would cost you a whopping £22,755.