Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Brits vote iPhone 8th greatest invention

May 20, 2010: 2:57 PM ET

More important than the flush toilet, the internal combustion engine, and the bed

Here's a survey that says a lot about the priorities of the 4,000 British adults, ages 18 to 85, who were asked by Tesco Mobile to rank the world's 100 most important inventions.

Putting the wheel at No. 1 makes sense. Ditto the light bulb at No. 3 and penicillin at No. 7.

But even Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs -- no stranger to hyperbole -- has never claimed that the iPhone is the eighth greatest invention of all time.

You can probably find a few items on the list below that you would rank higher. Myself, I'm partial to hot water, soft toilet paper, and a roof over my head.

Below: Tesco Mobile's list.

100 GREATEST INVENTIONS

1. Wheel
2. Aeroplane
3. Light bulb
4. Internet
5. PCs
6. Telephone
7. Penicillin
8. iPhone
9. Flushing toilet
10. Combustion engine
11. Contraceptive pill
12. Washing machine
13. Central heating
14. Fridge
15. Pain killers
16. Steam engine
17. Freezer
18. Camera
19. Cars
20. Spectacles
21. Mobile phones
22. Toilet paper
23. Hoover
24. Trains
25. Google
26. Microwave
27. Email
28. The pen
29. Hot water
30. Shoe
31. Compass
32. Ibuprofen
33. Toothbrush
34. Hair straighteners
35. Laptops
36. Knife and fork
37. Scissors
38. Paper
39. Space travel
40. Kettle
41. Calculator
42. Bed
43. Remote control
44. Roof
45. Air conditioning
46. SAT NAV
47. Wi-Fi
48. Cats-eyes
49. Matches
50. Power steering
51. Tumble dryer
52. Bicycle
53. Sky+
54. Tea bags
55. Umbrella
56. iPod
57. Taps
58. Crash helmet
59. Wristwatch
60. eBay
61. DVD player
62. Nappies
63. Ladder
64. Sun tan lotion
65. Lawnmower
66. Make-up
67. Chairs
68. Sunglasses
69. The game of football
70. Sliced bread
71. Sofa
72. Razor blades
73. Screwdriver
74. Motorways
75. Head/ear phones
76. Towels
77. Push-up bra
78. Binoculars
79. WD40
80. Mascara
81. Hair dryer
82. Facebook
83. Escalator
84. Hair dye
85. Wellington boots
86. Spell check
87. Calendars
88. Cheese grater
89. Buses
90. Post-it notes
91. Gloves
92. Satellite discs
93. Pedestrian crossing
94. Baby's dummy
95. Curtains
96. Bottle opener
97. Food blender
98. Dustpan and brush
99. Desks
100. Clothes peg

Via newsline.tv -- "it barely qualifies as news."

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

Join the Conversation
About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

Email | @philiped | RSS
Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by WordPress.com VIP.