You all know that the rise of the smartphone has led to the demise of many other tools. Does anyone actually own a calculator or compass anymore? How about a Dictaphone or dictionary?
But the smartphone is in the process of superseding so much more. Gadgets regarded as revolutionary just a decade ago are endangered species today, as the device everyone already carries around packs in more and more features.
So what gadgets will be the stuff of nostalgia come 2020? What devices should you be saying your goodbyes to now? Check out our predictions below.
Google Trends shows that sat nav popularity peaked in 2007, and has dropped substantially since. As more mobile phones came with built-in GPS and free navigation tools hit the app markets, did these dedicated devices ever stand a chance?
App developers have been able to stay one step ahead with free map updates and traffic notifications, and though sat nav manufacturers are starting to offer these features, it may be too little too late. Brands like TomTom and Garmin have almost admitted defeat by releasing their own apps.
However, as long as short battery life, high data costs and network connectivity problems plague smartphones, there’s a place for sat navs in the market.
IHS technology analyst Ian Fogg told The Telegraph1: “[Smartphones provide] more choice of mobile music because someone can play back their own music — as they can on a MP3 player — but they can also access other music services like Last FM or Spotify. Therefore there is a greater choice of music available.”
However, dedicated media players are still great for runners, because they tend to be more lightweight and compact. They’re also ideal for those with a huge music library: smartphone storage has to accommodate movies, photos and apps, so there might not be enough space for multiple gigabytes of tunes.
Although smartphones are unlikely to knock DSLRs out of the market any time soon, they could well push point-and-click cameras into oblivion. Always on hand for impromptu snaps, and with apps such as Instagram available for instant editing and sharing, they’re the convenient option for most people’s needs.
For now, people will continue to enjoy the superior quality offered by compact digital cameras.
Handheld games consoles
Juniper Research2 estimates that mobile games revenue will reach $20.9 billion (£12.4 billion) in 2014. It believes that dedicated gaming devices will “serve a niche gaming audience”. But we don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.
Even the smartphone’s closest gaming rival, the handheld console, isn’t showing any signs of disappearing. In the 2013/14 financial year, over 12.4 million3 Nintendo 3DS devices and 4.1 million4 PlayStation Portable systems were sold worldwide.
According to Pew Research Center findings5, 32 per cent of adult American e-book readers use their cell phone to read e-books. Since 2011, the proportion reading on a dedicated e-reader has dropped from 93 per cent to 87 per cent.
Increasingly large displays and the availability of e-books and reader apps have made smartphones a more viable alternative to the e-reader. But we shouldn’t say goodbye to the Kindle and Nook just yet.
There are two things saving e-book readers from certain extinction: battery life and e-ink displays. You’d be hard-pressed to get through a thick novel on one smartphone charge, but a full e-reader battery can last weeks or even months.
And readers love how e-ink displays are easy on the eye, and beautifully mimic a real book. At the moment, only the YotaPhone threatens the exclusivity of this feature, thanks to its electronic-paper display.
What devices do you think are next on the smartphone’s hit list? What dedicated devices will you continue to use, and why? Share your opinions in the comments below.