11 Gadgets Killed by The Smartphone

The launch of the iPhone in 2007 is already starting to feel like a distant memory, but cast your mind back even further, to the technology we all used in the 90s and early 00s, and you begin to realise just how many gadgets the smartphone has killed.

Did you own any of these? And do you still use any of them?

1. Digital camera

The poor thing was never really given a chance. Yes, SLRs will always remain popular, but the point-and-shoot camera was only just getting into gear when the smartphone came along and offered more pixels and an internet connection. True, you can’t zoom as far with a phone, but it’s getting harder than ever to justify carrying a phone and a point-and-shoot camera at the same time.

2. Portable games console

Remember your old Gameboy? Of course you do, and you might even have had a Nintendo DS and a PlayStation Portable as well, but smartphones and their app stores offer top-end games for price which can’t be matched by the old guard. Add easy online multiplayer, social network integration and remove the need to carry each game around separately, and it was an easy win for the phone.

3. MP3 player

We all had these in the early 2000s, and I bet you were as amazed as we were at carrying an entire album on such a tiny device. But the PC software to transfer music was clunky, you needed a limitless supply of AA batteries and storage was 500 times less than even the smallest iPhone today - it’s no surprise that MP3 players and mobile phones soon became one.

4. MP4 player

Although more of a rich kids’ toy, the same is true of the MP4 player. Video on the go was amazing in 2004, but now we can carry entire seasons of our favourite TV shows in our pocket, or watch iPlayer on the bus.

5. PDA

Ah the Palm Pilot. In the early 2000s you simply hadn’t made it in life until you could whip out your Palm Pilot at a moment’s notice, ready to scribble down an important memo, or the time of your next meeting. Sadly this was just another portable gadget waiting to be swallowed up by the smartphone.

6. Portable radio

We remember owning a small pocket radio as a kid. It was powered by a AA battery, it buzzed and crackled, and you could only get FM stations - but it was the 90s answer to Spotify, a football match live blog and breaking news in our pocket.

7. Torch

Not particularly fun this one, we admit, but it didn’t take long for app developers to realise you can use a smartphone’s camera as a pretty good torch. Some may argue that their “million candle” behemoth they got for £10 at the local petrol station is better, but at least our iPhone isn’t the size of a small dog.

8. Filofax

This one doesn’t even have batteries! Every kid growing up in the 90s had a Filofax, even if we weren’t entirely sure what to do with it. But hey, it had a notepad, a diary, a map of the London Underground and maybe even a ruler if you were lucky. Now of course, we organise our lives in the cloud and on our smartphones. You can even get a case with a ruler on the side.

9. Dictaphone

The quality of smartphone microphones is now so good, you can record an interview in a noisy pub while watching the football. So we’re told. Dedicated dictaphones still exist, but a huge market of recording apps and additional microphones means their days are surely numbered.

10. Alarm clock

Does anyone have a bedside alarm clock anymore? Nightly recharging means smartphones sit next to us while we sleep and wake us with their demonic ringtones the next morning. Sadly we haven’t yet found an app that will make us a cup of tea and fetch the paper, but it can’t be far off now.

11. Pager

Surely extinct by now, the humble pager has been replaced by the smartphone and almost limitless ways of getting in touch with anyone the world over. Email, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, text, Snapchat, even Yo (where all you can do is send the message ‘Yo’ to someone) are better alternatives.


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  1. Guest
    Guest11th Dec 2015

    nice article

  2. Guest
    Guest9th Dec 2015

    Watch for many

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