Just Sharing: Gadgets Killed By The iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by fleshman03, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. fleshman03 macrumors 68000


    May 27, 2008
    Sioux City, IA
    A list of gadgets killed by the iPhone from Wired: (Can you think of any more?)
    Link to Article.

    The PDA
    Remember the PDA? Right back to the Psion Organizer in 1984 (above), the PDA has essentially been an electronic calendar, address book and notepad. And right back to the Psion, with its squishy, non-QWERTY keyboard, they've been harder to use than their paper equivalents.
    Still, despite this, it took the cellphone to finally kill them off. The fatal shortcoming? The address book. Who on earth would take out their PDA, call up a contact and then tap the phone number into their phone? Nobody, which is why, as the calendaring functions of phones got better, the PDA was quietly retired.

    The Camera
    We're not saying that the standalone camera is dead. Far from it — one look in the street will show you how popular is the modern DSLR. But for people below a certain age, the camera phone is the one they use, and it has already killed off the cheap, junky bottom end of the digicam market. It's easy to see why: Although the pictures from the small sensors might not be great, the camera phone is always in your pocket, and you can snap and send pictures over the network in seconds.
    This convenience more than makes up for the noisy pictures. Remember the saying: The best camera is the one you have with you.

    The UMPC
    The Ultra Mobile PC was a failed experiment, although once in while a company will drag the rotting corpse from its comfortable grave, slap on a bit of makeup and try to sell the idea again. The reason? Cellphones. Think about it: The UMPC was a full-fledged computer crammed into a tiny box with an impossible-to-use keyboard, with pathetic battery life and a hilariously high price tag. The phone, in contrast, offers an operating system and interface designed for the modest hardware on which it will run. It's cheap, and the battery lasts for days.
    Better still, phones are only getting more powerful. The iPhone and the G1 are both handheld computers which happen to have a phone attached. And if you really do need a bigger screen, you can pick up two or three netbooks for the price of one UMPC.

    The Phone
    Hands up who still has a home land line with a telephone attached? Now, keep your arm in the air if you ever make calls on it. We don't see many hands.
    We still keep these old tethered phones around, for calling the emergency services if nothing else, or because its cheaper to buy an all-in-one package from the local telco. But the main phone for many people is the cellphone. Part of this is the convenience of always having it with you, even in the house.
    But we think a bigger part is that the humble telephone just hasn't kept up with technology. The handsets just don't have the features we're used to. And when we do use a land line, we look up the number on our cellphone and then type it in. Small wonder that most people just press the green button on the mobile instead.

    The MP3 Player
    Almost every phone comes with an MP3 player. We guess that in a few years, even the iPod will be dead, replaced entirely by the iPhone (and the iPod Touch, which is really just a cellphone without a phone). Music playback and a headphone jack is now a standard feature on even the cheapest of handsets (with some notable exceptions). Our prediction? The MP3 player will join the PDA in the gadget graveyard within a few short years.

    Next: The Notebook
    It will take some time, but it's easy to imagine the cellphone completely replacing the laptop for mobile use. Sure, we might keep one at home for work, but the cellphone already does most of what our notebooks do. We can listen to music, play movies and use the internet. One day, those big old, battery-sucking computers will be an amusing relic.
    Ironically, these future phones might be lacking the one thing that gave them their name — a phone. When fast data connections are ubiquitous, voice traffic will inevitably be sent over the internet.

    The Pager
    The most popular suggestion was the pager.
    5 gadgets? How could you forget the ubiquitous pager? In the not too distant past no drug dealer would leave home without it. The pager was the number one casualty of the rise of the cellphone. – Lenny
    I couldn't put it better, Lenny. The beeper was indeed killed by the mobile, and rightly so: Not only were you always on call, you had to find a payphone in order to ring back, and you had to pay for it.
    It offered some advantages, though -- doctors could go out to dinner in a fancy restaurant and be called off to work just after ordering (every medical drama made in the 1990s) and, on the other side, patients awaiting transplants could be tipped-off the moment the organs were in stock. All in all, though, a text message is a lot quicker and easier.

    The Wristwatch
    I still wear a wristwatch, although more as jewelry than as a time-telling tool. In fact, judging by the number of unusable watches our own Danny Dumas buys from Tokyo Flash, it's probably safe to say that watches don't even need to tell the time anymore. The cellphone may not have killed the watch, but it has certainly made it less essential. That hasn't stopped the likes of Vertu trying to hawk overpriced "luxury" cellphones to the same people that buy Rolexes.

    Pocket Calculator
    I got a surprising amount of suggestions for this one, and I actually considered putting it on yesterday's list. But although the cellphone will add, subtract and everything else, the keypad just isn't up to the task.
    Anyone who adds up in a professional capacity (accountants, bar managers, shop owners) will always prefer a big, solid desktop calculator. Those things are accurate, and above all, fast. You try tapping $100,000 worth of receipts into a cellphone and see how long it is before you throw the thing out the window.

    Alarm Clocks
    True. Although an iPod also makes a pretty good alarm clock, and it doesn't irradiate your head as you sleep.

    Another great suggestion. GPS is finding its way into more and more phones, and even those that don't have it can guesstimate your position using cell-tower triangulation. The problem is that many phones need a network connection to actually pull down a map, whereas standalone SatNav devices store everything on-board and only need to connect to the satellite.
    This means that a phone makes a pretty bad GPS device when you are out in the wilds -- arguably where you need it most.

    Here at Gadget Lab, we're fans of reading books on the iPhone, but we still don't think the book is anywhere near dead. For starters, the screens on cellphones just don't cut it as e-readers (although the iPhone gets close with a decent size and high 163ppi resolution). Heck, even purpose-built e-readers aren't there yet.
    One day, though, the dead tree version will be obsolete, but we give it some years yet. The irony? Tiny text files are perfectly suited to small, low power devices.

    Handheld Consoles
    Will the phone kill the Gameboy? Perhaps. Nokia tried it with the taco-shaped N-Gage and failed. Apple is trying with the iPhone, and doing OK. But in the US the Nintendo DS is the second best selling console for October, beaten only by the Wii. Nintendo is shifting around half a million of them every month. That doesn't sound like a dead market.
    What's certain is that the cellphone is becoming the default device for more and more things, slurping up other gadgets like a a giant Katamari Damacy ball. It might not be the best tool for a given job, but it's certainly the most convenient.

    *The best hate mail was this one:
    (You are so full of s**t that I hope they do not pay you to write your dribble and some [...] Gandpa [sic] my ass----who are you a young punk who cannot get a job except for writing???
  2. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2008
    good points but a phone wont ever replace a laptop or a dedicated gaming device.

    and umpc's/netbooks are starting to be pretty popular.
  3. Rat-Boy macrumors 65816


    Jul 28, 2008
    Yes, it kills a lot of needs for other devices.

    But I will disagree with you on the land line. I mean, it is great if you don't have one.

    But I get 1 bar of EDGE in my house. And that is only on good days.

    My iPhone is useless in my house.

    So my hand is in the air. :D
  4. Tenorsaw macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2008
    If you have a larger home and need a phone in multiple places, a landline still comes in handy as long as it's not POTS. I use Ooma and couldn't be happier.

    Pagers are still going on strong in the healthcare industry. Cellphones cannot be used in certain areas and pagers work where cellphones won't get any signal.
  5. markgamber macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2005
    Redneck, PA
    I think that list is a little on the rosy side. For example:

    SatNav: There is no GPS app on the iPhone I consider useful. When someone releases something like the TomTom I have on my Tilt, the only reason I still have a Tilt, then you scratch this one off. They're just making things up here.

    UMPC: Depends on your need. I need a little computer, not a phone with a big screen, so I have a UMPC. I use it every day. In fact, it's probably the most useful computer I ever bought. The iPhone (or any other phone) doesn't even come close. Again, just making it up, there's no reality here.

    The Phone: Bzzzt...wrong again. I have a landline. Everyone I know with an iPhone (or otherwise) also has a landline. I don't know anyone who trusts a cell provider enough to drop their landline. The cell provider is the key. No phone is better than the provider it uses and that AT&T sucks is why the iPhone still sucks. If I heard someone break into my house, I wouldn't reach for the iPhone first. I've heard people do go without a landline, but I don't know any of them and it's not like I never leave the house.

    The Notebook: Seriously? Do I have to tell you how retarded this is or did you realize that yourselves about the time this went to press?

    Seems to me whoever wrote this hangs around with Jobs a little too much and has lost most connections to reality. My wife and son both have iPods in addition to iPhones and if Wired says the iPhone is killing print, why can you still buy their rag in a few book stores? Take a hint from the outgoing administration in the US...just because you believe it doesn't mean it actually happened.
  6. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2008
    and also one thing.

    if you start using your iphone to replace all those other devices, your battery wont last long.
  7. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Interesting list, if rarely true altogether of course.

    First, if a phone replaces a laptop, then that owner sure doesn't do much with the latter.

    Even though more and more youth have a cell phone and no landline, it's still a must-have for anyone older. Remember the last blackout in NYC a few years ago? We had all the younger couples in the neighborhood coming over to beg for a few minutes on our old Princess phone after the local cell tower's batteries gave out.

    That said, I'd love to see a cellphone that converts into also being a regular wireless landline phone when it's within your home's range. I shouldn't have to drag two phones out on the porch. (Yes, I know I could forward one to the other for a while. Woof.)

    While I do a lot of browsing on a phone, nothing beats sitting at a desktop (like I'm doing now) to compose a reply.

    Reading long documents on a phone? No way. Maybe when they all have projectors built-in and an easy way to scroll to the middle of a 100 page PDF.
  8. daisuke07 macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2008
    i didnt even know they still sell pagers or even work
  9. iblastoff macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2008
    haha please. the iphones camera doesn't kill anything. the completely featureless camera hardware is so useless.
  10. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    Really? I don't think I know anyone that has a landline anymore except for my parents and maybe a couple of my relatives above the age of 55 or so. I cut the wire in 2003 and went cell only back then. I'm surprised you don't see this around you.
  11. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    A phone replace a notebook/laptop? Really? Does anyone actually think this will ever happen?

    Because I really want to show up on site with my phone and proceed to deal with CAD drawings. Drafting on a phone sounds like a lot of fun.

    Yeah, iPhone (or any phone for that matter) ≠ laptop killer
  12. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    what a horrible article

    The Camera

    Sir you must be kidding me, have you t he subpar iPhone pictures.

    Heres nokia 6630 ( 2mp same as iPhone)


    compare that to a real camera


    I think the results speak for themselves

    The UMPC/Netbook/Laptop

    Maybe as a web browser, but if you use your laptop/umpc/netbook for productivity then I doubt it can replace them.
  13. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    Yeah I would have to say that GADGETS KILLED is a very strong statement. It's more of an alternative to those gadgets listed. I share your enthusiasm for this gadget and I do agree it's the best in its class and it's one of the best products made by apple. However that's like saying that a flying car(assuming they were available at a competitive price by now) killed off planes and cars. Sure its a car that performs your car functions and a plain that performs your plain function, but it will not outperform a car or a plain.
  14. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I thought the cell phone or the "no need to run and find a payphone" device killed the pager.

    The only time I could see my iPhone being a pager is when I receive a call but the phone locks up and all I can do is look at it.

    I will totally agree. The camera on the iPhone and others are absolutely worthless. I've used it a few time when I did not have my camera with me, but then just deleted the pictures after seeing how poor the quality was, so now if I see something that would be great to take a picture of but do't have the camera, well I just leave without the picture.
  15. fleshman03 thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 27, 2008
    Sioux City, IA
    They cost like $13 a month. Crazy, I know.
    Linky Linky

    I think we are bumping against the problem with convergance devices. They can do all those things, just not as well as a stand alone device.
  16. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    That article was a little bit of a leap (like a lot on here), but so are some responses.

    1) The notebook isn't going to get killed by a cellphone. The desktop is losing ground as notebooks get more powerful and affordable, but neither is going anywhere in the near future. A great number of people will likely just have a notebook and smartphone, unless they need the power (or cheapness) of a desktop.

    2) Please read the camera statement before going all apestuff. They said it would replace the CHEAP cameras. It didn't say the iPhone's camera was as good, but it's always with you. No, it's not really killing them, but the rest of the writer's point was spot on.

    3) PDA? Yep. Phone? Maybe. A poster made a valid point about the reliability of landlines vs. cell, but a lot of us only have a cell phone. The iPhone isn't killing landlines, but cell phones in general are. However, it'll be a LONG time before landlines go the way of pulse dialing.

    4) Books? No. SatNav? No. Handheld consoles? No. Written books will NEVER be killed (in our lifetimes) because of copyrights and the overwhelming popularity of printed books. GPS devices in cars are much better than the iPhone offering. The potential is there to semi-replace them, but it'll be hard to compete with $99 units if you don't need a smartphone.

    As far as handheld game consoles, this won't happen unless buttons are developed for iPhone games somehow (and I don't mean virtual ones). iPhone games also don't have the depth of most popular portable games, so it'll take a while to make any major dents in the DS an PSP markets. A $129 portable game system is also a lot cheaper for a youngster than a cell phone.

    5) MP3 players? WHAT? The "most phones have MP3 players" bit reminded me of the beer commercial where the guy asks if ground beef is the same as beef on the ground. Most phone MP3 players are crap compared to even the iPod Nano. People on a tight budget will buy a standalone MP3 player before they buy a smartphone.

    A main theme of a lot of these is cost. Sometimes, I think writers and posters forget that not everybody makes as much money as they do. I see this in the "digital video downloads will kill discs" discussions as well of all these "everybody will have an iPhone in 3 years" type discussions. This is why such a bad article shows up in Wired and not USA Today.
  17. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The mobile phone killed the pager.

    I remember being in Singapore as a kid and going on an excursion to the SingTel (or whatever it was called back then) head office - they had a pager there in the foyer in a glass cabinet that was as big as a credit card and maybe 3x as thick. I though it was the absolute pinnacle of technology.
  18. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I think that people have become far to complacent with the terrible quality of what their cell phone camera's can take. They figure that the difference between their " 2 megapixel phone" and " 2 megapixel camera" can't be that big, but they are sorely mistaken.

    I read the camera comment, but i think you fail to realize what a turd camera the iPhone has.

    My sony k750 which i bought in 2005 had a way better camera, it had autofocus and a flash.

    The iPhone camera is pretty much worthless, it will never replace even cheap digital camera's

    I can buy a Nikon Coolpix 2500 on ebay right now for 15 bucks


    The camera came out in 2002, its not even a good camera, I just randomly chose one from the ebay listings

    There's no way the iPhone can take indoor pictures like this

    original uncompressed http://a.img-dpreview.com/gallery/nikoncp2500_samples/originals/020307-0748-14.jpg

    taken from http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp2500/


    I use to own a Sony k800i. To be honest it was the only camera I carried for about two years. When i purchased my iPhone in July I desperately tried using my iPhone as a camera and a phone... but the picture quality was just not usable. Sure i only had to carry one device, but if you can't capture the moment, then you fail to realize what a camera's intended purpose is.

    I now carry my iPhone and a Canon SD 870 IS because I don't want to miss special moments when I go out.
  19. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Wow... Some people don't read much of an article do they?

    The camera: Nobody said it was going to replace a DSLR or film camera. It's convenient to cary around, pictures are "good enough" for anything your not framing. Cameras like this http://www.multi-cam.net/digital_camera_dc30.html are totally useless now. Also, this article talks about cellphones replacing it. It's never going to replace flash photography. It's not even the same category. If you expected Nikon quality out of a cellphone, you are retarded...

    On a different note, Cellphone cameras will keep getting better and better too! oil drop lenses that focus based on small electric currents are already in prototype. You could even compound those and they'd be thin enough for a phone. :p

    Phew... now that that's out of the way:

    I found this article very interesting. I could actually see some of these things coming true though. There are a lot of emerging technologies that could make a cellphone replacing a laptop very possible.



    And I read in popular mechanics a while ago about injectable batteries. Something that could form to fill all empty space in a device to take up as little space as possible.

    You could have a roll up screen, or even a head mounted screen, and a bluetooth projection keyboard. With an extended battery even if it had to plug in, you'd have yourself a laptop replacement. Of course this is in a few years when the processors are better.

    See! Technology will ALWAYS phase out things. How many old things do you see around today? I'm sure people thought, oh man! Nothing is going to beat out this RECORD PLAYER! Haha

    So before you fanboys and haters start slamming these predictions, take a look at what already exists and what was in the past.
  20. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Oh and to Mr. Photophile

    Photo attached is taken in a dark bar with my iPhone. Not bad for something that WAS ALREADY IN MY POCKET!

    OMG my 8-16GB iPhone doen't have 1TB worth of space for all my music!!! It'll never replace my computers mp3 player! I'll carry that around instead. That and a power generator. It's better. Who cares about convenience? Not this guy!!!


    You totally missed the point.

    Attached Files:

  21. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I was referring specifically to those saying that the iPhone can replace all these devices

    Phones like the Motorola Zine ZN5 , and sony k850i have amazing optics and are slowly getting close... but the iPhone is worthless for pictures

    A camera's goal is to capture a moment. Sure sometimes its a picture of some delicious beer, other times though its a picture of your friend tackling your other friend ( see below).

    Attached Files:

  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    id say 6 of the gadgets were killed off by cell phones period, not the iphone
  23. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    The iPhone is never going to kill the book. Nothing ever will. Books can be produced for next to nothing and they don't cost money to use them (unless you need a light to read).

    Pagers are never going anywhere. Every doctor carries a pager and this is never going to change. Imagine a hospital saying; "instead of this POS $10 pager, we are going to let you carry around a $300 iPhone." Lol. Hospitals a cheap.

    They aren't going to get rid of netbooks. Netbooks are currently the #1 best selling computer at Amazon. And they're only going to get cheaper and better.

    iPhones will kill the mp3 player when the iPhone is sold for less than $100 and you can pre-pay for the phone service. Don't hold your breath.

    Cell phones have killed the landline in my house, but when I start having a house full of kids, we will get a landline again. So, cell phones will not likely kill the landline.
  24. Tenorsaw macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2008
    I walk with one. Ours is from Skytel. There are many places in buildings where cellphones do not work and a pager will. It's more of a niche market these days. Cellphones have killed it for the most part.
  25. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Don't most doctors have cellphones? Why wouldn't they just send SMS to them instead of paging? Seems archaic. Whatev. We'll see about the netbooks. It'll take A LOT to kill them. The only advantage a phone has is it's small and the netbooks are pretty damn small. As far as land lines go... Why not? Everyone has cordless phones, might as well just have a cell. Although, I think a lot of people do like landlines. VOIP will probably do that under first. :D

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