The Washington Post
The smartphone revolution has reached Joe Cecconi, which may mean it isn’t a revolution anymore.
The retiree from Fairfax County got his Samsung Galaxy S III six months ago, finally giving up on his old flip phone. He hardly ever uses the apps, but he said he found the smartphone very useful for “the Web, texting and making calls.”
The handheld devices, which just a few years ago were seen as technological status symbols, are now for the first time in the hands of a majority of Americans, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. They’ve become commonplace, meaning for every technophile sideloading apps onto an unlocked smartphone, there’s probably a middle-aged office worker peering over a pair of bifocals at a touchscreen.
The two dominant smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung, are still fighting over the declining share of Americans who don’t have one. They are using slick television commercials and aggressive lawsuits against each other because the devices remain critical to their bottom lines. But some analysts say the phones have reached their technological ceiling. New versions have struggled to wow reviewers and average consumers, a factor particularly important to tech firms, which often sell more products if they are seen as cutting-edge innovators.
“Now that it’s in the hands of everybody, maybe it loses its cool,” said Ramon Llamas, a mobile trends analyst at International Data Corp.
Apple rarely comments on products in its pipelines, but chief executive Tim Cook hinted at a technology conference last week that “the wrist is interesting,” sparking rumors that it could unveil some wearable technology at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
“We’re standing on the edge of what wearable computing is going to be,” said Llamas, the IDC analyst. The wearable tech market could sell up to 9.4 million devices by 2016, analysts say.