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No, Apple did not invent touchscreen technology - though you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise considering how every touch-loving smart phone is now benchmarked against the iPhone. That said, Jobs and co did arguably reinvent the touch concept for mobiles by opting for capacitive touchscreen tech rather than the more common resistive variety.
Capacitive touchscreens have a top layer that stores electrical charge. When the user touches the screen this charge decreases, as some of it is transferred to his or her finger, and capacitors embedded in the device are then used to calculate where the touch took place (hence the iPhone's fingertip sensitivity and the fact it's no good for stylus lovers). The iPhone actually uses a whole grid of capacitors which means it can sense multiple touches so users can indulge in fancy fingerwork like pinching to shrink webpages.
The 3G device (pictured here showing off Apple's iPhone App Store) may be the second generation iPhone but it is the iPhone proper: the device as it should always have been, packing the kind of speed other phones had been offering for ages as well as the now near-ubiquitous GPS.
Verdict: Setting the standard
Photo credit: Apple