Apple's iPhone continues to make waves as a landmark device, with a panel of engineers this week saying it has accelerated a trend to standards-based development for embedded systems.

In a fascinating report, EE Times explains the success of the iPhone both in terms of consumer use and acceptance and as a potential development platform has driven forward an already prevailing move toward a standards-based approach in such systems, agreed a group of leading engineers at an industry panel.

Jason Smart, director of interaction design at Smart Design called the iPhone the epitome of "user-centered design". David Carey, boss of Portelligent, called the device such a success it is influencing engineers to reconsider the way consumers use such devices, forcing the focus to shift from hardware design toward software, the application set and the user interface.

In terms of usability, iPhone beats most consumer electonics devices, including well-known solutions such as the VCR. But simplicity is incredibly complex to achieve, the panelists agreed. "There are layers of functions in devices," one said, "and none of it is very coherent."

Carey noted that while technology can advance rapidly, consumers need time to get to grips with new features as they are introduced, noting, "Apple is very satisfied to go very slowly, shipping its product and very slowly bringing the consumer along."