6 Massively Popular Devices Killed by Smartphones – Are Standalone Devices Doomed?

With the use of “smart” phones nowadays, man is able to perform many tasks conveniently – anywhere and anytime. Convenient and fraught with features, smartphones are not just here to stay, but they are in a quest for total domination. Crammed with so many features other devices are just too gullible to keep up. Since their rise, smartphones have squashed many devices and they are even threatening juggernauts that were once considered invincible. This guide shows six devices are getting usurped by smartphones – some of them are getting pulverized already!

1. Consumer GPS Devices – Deaths Looms at the Horizon

Back in Stone Age, you needed to carry gigantic and cumbersome maps with you if were visiting a new area. In the early 2000s, the wheel was apparently reinvented when consumer portable GPS devices were released.  Awed by the conveniences and functionalities it offers, people didn’t mind buying a 400-dollar clunky portable GPS device. Yet, even in those days, basic cell phones were trying to compete. But, because technology was not as advanced, standalone GPS devices could not be vanquished – not yet, at least.

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Smartphones killed the GPS unit by offering free and intuitive navigation. Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns

Though standalone GPS devices reached their golden age in 2008 and 2009, their fall was imminent. A friendly user interface, turn-by-turn navigation with voice and free of charge, all of these features made GPS-equipped smartphones irresistible. In fact, since smartphones provided accurate GPS service free of charge and are always with consumers, there was no real reason why they should continue to buy standalone GPS devices.

In October, 2008 the golden age of standalone GPS devices was over, as smartphones were gearing up for conquest when Google introduced Android, a mobile operating system that is equipped with its own navigation application. Companies such as Garmin and TomTom battled fiercely, but to no avail. A harrowing report by Marketplace indicates that sales of standalone GPS devices were expected to decrease by half in the year 2013 alone [1, 2].  Defeated and seeking for refuge, prudent companies such as Garmin are widening out their business model to keep up. Others who continue to follow the same business model in 2008, are getting wiped out with every smartphone that is purchased.

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  1. Yes, the smartphone killed MP3 players and voice recorders for sure. However, they cannot replace my long zoom point and shoot camera. My point and zoom has a 35x zoom, which is much needed when I go out to nature. If I’m hiking up a beautiful mountain in another state or another country, my smartphone will be limited due to the lack of zoom. Even the best optical zoom smart phones have only a mere 3x at best. Also, sorry, it can’t replace my console, especially not the Nintendo Switch. Consoles have games the smartphone will never have. Unique experiences that platforms like the Switch or Wii has will never work on a smartphone.

  2. Smartphones will not work where there is no signal rendering your GPS on your cell phone worthless. The zoom on the cameras are rather useless unless you are taking pictures of things that are close to you. I would have never gotten the pictures I got with my point and shoot camera at a concert last weekend with my smart phone. I don’t want my music interrupted by phone calls that I’d rather ignore. There is no way I’m getting rid of my stand alone devices.

  3. Of course, when someone rips off your iPhone all those pictures, all that music, all that data, all those voice memos go with it. So the need to back up some of this information become paramount. Hello computer hard drive; hello USB flash drive. Not to mention that you now no longer have that electronic “Swiss Army Knife”, so no GPS, no camera, no MP3 player, etc., and unless you happen to be eligible to get a discount upgrade you’re going to pay through the nose for a replacement.

    Or you could just use a camera for pictures, a GPS device for directions, or an iPod for your music in the first place. It’s all about the right tool for the right job.

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