Replacing everything we used to carry around with us, smartphones are making purses obsolete. To give an example, today The New York Times's Nick Bilton points out how the smartphone is literally supplanting the digital camera, even for the snobbiest of photographers. "Companies are producing dozens of inexpensive smartphone attachments that can easily convert a mobile phone into a mini-professional camera," he writes. "These products include zoom, fisheye and ultra-up-close macro lenses — all designed to snap onto a smartphone and make photos look as if they were shot with an expensive single-lens reflex camera." It's not just an inferior substitute, pop a fancy lens on the iPhone 4S's 8 megapixel camera and sophisticated photographers won't know the difference. Phones are becoming digital cameras. And many have already seen the light. A recent survey of 3,000 smart phone owners found that 43 percent had already forgone the camera for the camera-phone.
The camera phenomenon represents a bigger trend: The smartphonification of stuff. From the camera to all that other bulk we used carry around with us, the smartphone is lightening our load. Here're all the things we used to carry around that we don't have to anymore.
- Watches. Everyone knows that the popularity and ubiquity of cellphones have relegated watches to fashion pieces and status symbols.
- Wallets. Paypall, Google and MasterCard all have mobile payments systems. They're easy, fast, safe and will never clutter with old receipts
- Newspaper/Magazines. Print is dead because the iPhone killed it.
- Disc Man, iPod, Walkman. Smartphones, just like iPods, hold a lot of digital music. But now with cloud services, like iTunes Match and Google's Music Service, smartphone owners can access huge 20,000 song libraries via the cloud.
- Keys? Ok, this one isn't a widespread reality yet. But at least one person has rigged Siri to open doors.
- Gloves. Fancy phones aren't replacing gloves, but touchscreens are making them an endangered species. In a few years we'll all be wearing these fashion unfriendly fingerless glove impostors or these "texting gloves."
We guess that just leaves the flask, right?