When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the revolutionary smartphone was instantly heralded as the future of mobile technology. The public and media only got more excited as the years went by and the device’s hardware improved with each subsequent generation. Over the last couple of years, however, the hubbub surrounding each new iPhone’s launch has died down significantly. After all, smartphones have been around for nearly a decade, making people so familiar with them that the incremental improvements made to today’s devices simply aren’t that thrilling.
For instance, Samsung has outfitted their latest smartphones with a new feature that allows users to receive notifications along the outer edge of their screen. This scarcely eye-catching improvement shows how mobile devices may have reached their limit for innovation. Instead, the tech of tomorrow may focus primarily on apps that are operated from a dizzying array of media platforms. Rather than constantly relying on smartphones, tech users of tomorrow will likely access their information and apps through devices imbedded in common places and objects.
Take cars as an example. If a person wants to listen to Spotify in their vehicle, they have to take their phone with them and connect it to the car. While this seems convenient enough today, there’s still a chance that the user will dangerously search for music on their phone while driving. That’s why the automobiles of tomorrow are being designed with voice activation technology that connects the user to a central network containing all their data. These new digital dashboards won’t require a smartphone to provide a platform for apps since the system is built directly into the vehicle. This principle could then be applied to other everyday items, such as TVs or even microwave ovens. Soon enough smartphones could be viewed in the same light as laptops are now: once an exciting access point to the world of technology, but now just another way in a million to log on.
- Will smartphones like the iPhone eventually become obsolete, or are they powerful enough to stand the test of time?
- Which stage of the product life cycle do you think smartphones are at currently?
Source: Kevin Maney, “Smartphones Are Getting Outsmarted, and Apps Will Be the Next to Fall,” Newsweek, January 2, 2016. Photo by George Panos.