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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Is Smartphone the King?

Is Smartphone the King?

The smartphone has been a technology disruptor and a company killer. It is the app frenzy but the browser with internet connectivity that became the big enabler of adoption for this technology. Think back 5 years ago and imagine your life then when the smartphone was a BlackBerry, and flip phones ruled the world with 10 key text input.

Nokia and BlackBerry are companies getting killed and Treo was actually killed. Not sure where Googorola fits in yet. Meanwhile Samsung took over the world one free android OS at a time.

Amazon and Facebook are trying to get into the game as well. Why? The smartphone is becoming the King and the preferred method of communications. For Amazon it’s all about the input device into their shopping networks and for Facebook it’s all about grabbing mobile advertising revenue.  Again it is the app driving the consumer.

Maybe BlackBerry should release a Twitter branded version of the Q10, a Kardashian branded version, The Pope version and even the Green bay Packers could do similar. These branded versions could have exclusive design and content features not available anywhere. Sprint did this with their Nascar branded Motorola i736 flip phone.

But John, you are off on a tangent , focus on disruptation. Ok folks here goes:

Kodak and Polaroid got killed by the smartphone. Really?  Sure they did and they did fall asleep at the wheel as the world switched to digital film. Back in the day, everyone had a film camera and the 110 format allowed a small, pocketable camera that could be taken anywhere. With the new Nokia Lumia 102 with its 41MP camera, Apple’s improved camera on the iPhone 5 means photography is now so much better. Why lug a heavy SLR around your neck? Just snap away and let Snapchat and Instagram do its work for you. Use the various apps to edit the photos in device before uploading to Flickr and Facebook. Hmmm the $3000 Nikon D800 cannot do that. Most consumers just need a convenient way of taking photos to print into 4x6 or file away in their hard drive. It is no wonder that point and shoot camera sales are down year over year and DSLR is being affected as well. The smartphone being an internet device can have its software upgraded and the photo app software upgrade very easily. Adding new features or simplifying storage is very difficult on a traditional digital camera. The most important innovations in photography have actually happened on smartphones.

Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation are also getting slowly killed. Consumers have shifted their appetite for free and disposable games from their local app store. No need to have a purpose built portable game console anymore when the smartphone screen size and processing power exceeds the Nintendo DS and Game Boy. Though, like many other nerds really prefer playing Tetris on a GameBoy because that is just the way it is meant to be played, not in colour on a swipe screen device. Take your iPhone and Airplay it to your big screen TV and your PlayStation 2 just got donated to the Salvation Army.  However, the gamers will always run high end Desktops or the new game consoles to play Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto because you can now have wrinkles on the clothes, and other super fine detail. The new consoles are really now unified multimedia machines with Netflix, Blu-ray DVD, chat and VOIP apps embedded. Actually the PC is going to be killed by the new game consoles. Throw Microsoft Office onto the new Xbox and who needs a Desktop PC anymore especially when you have a Surface tablet.

Traditional Wallets are getting killed. The smartphone is becoming the payment device and you can store all your receipts online. Who needs a wallet? Who even wants a wallet for Christmas?  No one
Laptops are getting killed by the smartphone. You can actually do a lot of stuff with a Samsung Note 3 without the need for a laptop. Laptop users that need processing power and lots of memory will always be a market but if Google releases a Motorola Note G with a 6” screen and its cloud apps then road warriors will rejoice.  Please bundle in a HDMI cable and extended battery sleeve with a nice Blue Tooth headset into the Road Warrior Edition. Actually do up a 7” version and a smart watch to the mix.  You now don’t need a mini Tablet anymore.

The smartphone is a mean animal that has devoured the camera industry, the portable game console industry, nibbling away at the Laptop industry, the wallet industry is making more money selling smartphone cases,  and it’s on the lookout for the its next lunch.

My smartphone is my camera, game console, TV, music player, e-book reader, alarm clock, notepad, wallet, flashlight, portable office, tamagotchi, boarding pass and recipe box. I look forward to what the next 18 months brings to the market, who knows it may be able to cook a meal, or replace the home alarm system and my keychain as well.

Yeah the smartphone is the King and with a bejewel case can be the Queen as well. Actually the smartphone has no gender.

The smartphone may also be chewing away on productivity, the sales flyer, newspaper, Sunday mass, and donuts. I do know one thing and that one day the smartphone will protect us from zombies, robots and vampires and there is a teenager in a garage somewhere working on that right now.

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