Here’s What Apple’s iPhone Killed


Apple’s iconic iPhone is a killing machine. Not only did Apple’s entry into the smartphone industry clobber Microsoft, Nokia, BlackBerry, and others into oblivion, the app store revolution killed a whole line of products we’ve been using for decades.

Some of what has changed is obvious. The phone isn’t just a phone anymore. The iPhone is the most popular camera in the world and helped to demolish the point-and-shoot and cam-corder camera industries.

What else?

Pocket Of Gadgets

There may be no really true end to the number of products that have taken a back seat to what you can do with today’s iPhones. In addition to turning Nokia, BlackBerry, and Microsoft smartphones into industry footnotes, the iPhone actually helped kill off Apple’s own iPod. Sure, you can still buy an iPod, but why? The iPhone does more.

Here’s my quick hit list of what has changed in a few short years, thanks to Apple’s iPhone and companion iPad.

Magazines – I used to have a stack of magazines arrive in the mail. These days I use the Texture subscription service and get even more magazines delivered to iPhone and iPad, but not a printed version among them.

Newspapers – yes, like a gazillion others I subscribed to a couple of local daily newspapers. Now I get the Sunday papers only, and read the news online. And not just local news. News from everywhere is available via Apple’s own News app and my favorite, Flipboard. Look at all the trees we save.

Franklin Planner– yes, I was part of the Franklin Planner generation–  ringed binders which contained every piece of important information that needed to be carried from meeting to meeting; work, life, the past, and today were all written down in those planners, faithfully changed out to blank paper the next year. All replaced by Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Reminders, and their third party kin.

Games – this is not where I devote much time, but name a platform for games– console like games in high resolution– that has as many users as the iPhone. The handheld consoles of yesteryear may still be around– Nintendo DS, Gameboys, Sony PST– but it’s the iPhone and iPad that get used by most kids these days because the games are incredibly good. Just wait until next year when the App Store is full of AR (augmented reality) games.

Clocks – well, I still have a dozen analog clocks around my condo, but these days I use Watch to tell time and set alarms. Clocks are not likely to die out until we have Apple contact implants which give us 45-inch high resolution displays right on top of our eyes.

Stop Watch-Timers-Alarms – I still have a battery-powered stop watch. My Watch does more. iPhone does even more and they’re not extra cost, either. Apple builds in an incredibly powerful Clock app which does all that and more, and even better, it’s not affected by Do Not Disturb which I turn on at 7:00 PM.

Audio Recorder – these are the little cassette and now flash card audio recorders of yesteryear. It’s built into your iPhone and there are dozens of free to nominally priced audio recorders which do far more than the analog versions we once carried around everywhere.

GPS – I’m somewhat of an early adopter and bought a few GPS devices back in the day. I had two for the car over the years; two handheld that we could cary while hiking upstate. Gone. I don’t know where they are. The iPhone does all my tracking these days.

Maps – I remember the day when the family car glove box was filled with paper maps; those big, foldable sheets of maps– local and wherever we would travel. What a pain to use paper maps in a car when the iPhone does it better and instantly. Goodbye, maps.

Calculators – this is something of a sore spot that I’ve turned into a digital collection. My Mac, iPhone, and iPad have a dozen different calculators. I use Apple’s and PCalc, and occasionally look at the others.

Compass – my father still has a magnetic compass. My iPhone has a compass built-in.

Telephones – in all likelihood, the trend of killing landlines would have continued without the iPhone, but those phone companies are in trouble because wireless is where its at. But we still have a landline.

Television – add movies to this list of industry altering that occurred thanks to the smartphone revolution, Apple style. I still have cable TV at home, but a growing percent of my watching time has moved to handheld devices. iPhone. That may be even more so for a younger generation.

Personal Computers – they’re not dead, they won’t die anytime soon, but the whole industry has changed, thanks to the smartphone and tablet industry led by iPhone. PC sales have dropped for years. The Mac sells well, better than expected, but the writing is on the wall. Today’s iPhone and iPad Pro are as powerful– CPU wise– as the MacBook and entry-level MacBook Pro.

Other industries have seen a similar impact in recent years. iPhone and Watch are now healthcare gadgets and will be more so in the future. iPhone helped kill Adobe’s Flash platform. Yeah, it’s there. It doesn’t matter. How about malware? Apple’s iPhone just doesn’t have any (to speak of) thanks to the company’s tight iOS and app store restrictions.

There’s more, of course, but you get the idea. Apple’s iPhone led a revolution in technology which has impacted a few billion people on planet earth. Google claims there are 1.7-billion Android devices on earth, while Apple claims more than 1-billion iOS device users. That’s pushing 3-billion of planet earth’s 8-billion inhabitants have had their lives changed by a handheld device that is what brought the post-PC era.


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