In 10 years, your iPhone won’t be a phone anymore

“As the iPhone this week marks the 10th anniversary of its first sale, it remains one of the most successful consumer products in history,” Christopher Mims writes for The Wall Street Journal. “But by the time it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the “phone” concept will be entirely uprooted.”

“Sure, Apple may still sell a glossy rectangle. (At that point, iPhones may also be thin and foldable, or roll up into scrolls like ancient papyri.) But the suite of apps and services that is today centered around the physical iPhone will have migrated to other, more convenient and equally capable devices — a ‘body area network’ of computers, batteries and sensors residing on our wrists, in our ears, on our faces and who knows where else,” Mims writes. “We’ll find ourselves leaving the iPhone behind more and more often.”

MacDailyNews Take: This has, of course, already begun. Each day, we leave our iPhones on our desks while we go for a run as our Apple Watches record our location, pace, distance, heart rate and more while playing music and motivating us with voice prompts wirelessly to our AirPods. The day Apple Watch gets a cellular radio, is the day our iPhones dread.

“Apple is busy putting ever more powerful microprocessors, and more wireless radios, in every one of its devices. Siri is getting smarter and popping up in more places. Meanwhile Apple is going deep on augmented reality,” Mims writes. “All these technologies—interfacing with our smart homes, smart cars, even smart cities—will constitute not just a new way to interact with computers but a new way of life.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The pace of change is, as ever, rapidly increasing.

Apple’s AR is much closer to reality than Google’s – June 26, 2017
Steve Jobs would be proud: A full decade later, Apple’s iPhone still dominates – June 26, 2017


  1. While we keep calling it a “phone” voice communication is only an app on a “computer”. My iPad does voice communication, so does my Mac, All of these are computers. I don’t actually own a computer called a phone. The phone concept has already been entirely uprooted by mobile hand-held computers that we antiquatedly still call phones.

    1. I guess consumers aren’t ready to let go of the term “phone” or “smartphone”. But I for one would like to see it renamed “Apple Communicator”.

  2. I remember not too long after the iPhone came out, and Newt Gingrich commented that it isn’t a smartphone. He was explaining that the iPhone was far more than just a phone, in fact that it was a handheld computer that happened to have a phone in it. He pointed to the office phone on his desk and said, that’s a smart phone.

    Now he was 100% correct. Only, as they always do, the media tore him a new one commenting on how stupid he was for not being able to identify a smartphone. It’s an excellent example of how the media will abuse anyone on the right for even the smallest thing.

  3. Our younger members of society are basically mindless drones unable to have meaningful social contact. Just look as your traveling down the street. Every head is fixated on their smartphone on every corner, in every restaurant and public place. We have become a society of slaves to this tech. While the tech is somewhat beneficial, it is mainly the dredge of society. Only older people get it.

    1. The young people do that because communicating with old people is boring; they ramble and have no idea what’s cool. Two of ’em told me that and I wanted to swat ’em. Until I realised they were telling the truth.

      1. Again, mass categorization and its consequences.

        But we geezerlies do have to keep a perspective regarding the cultural as well as age differences between us. I often want to get involved with new stuff going on in the current Youth Culture. I’ve enjoyed helping out with a local Maker Space created by one of my brilliant young neighbors. But there’s a point where it gets weird being some geezerly among teen to twenty-somethings. The shared energy around new technology is great, but other cultural factors encroach and become predominant. Is this oldie trying to live a second childhood? Is the oldie trolling for young things for nefarious desirous purposes? Is this oldie fooling themselves that they can relate to the deliberately rebelling new youth culture. Etc.

        From a tribal, historical perspective, we’re taught about the place for the youth within the group and the place for the elderly. That persists. It may not always be an intelligent distinction and separation, but it’s remaining nonetheless.

        I’m reminded of the cultural separation of men and women, especially regarding talents and skills. That distinction is far more silly and worthy of demolition than the separation of youth from the elderly. The solution for ageism of course lies somewhere in the realm of interactive integration. Dump the role playing but respect the cultural memes and boundaries.

        1. Separation is the defining characteristic of groups. Boundaries are only respected if a price is paid for crossing them. Memes promote group cohesiveness. Knowing one’s place is the strongest of all cultural memes. All these principles arose naturally and thus persist, even in the face of massive changes across generations.

          I know you wish for better behaviour — we all do but it is impossible to enforce in an age where humans can change groups on a whim, or belong to multiple groups, or inhabit purely subversive groups.

          The only hope is to wield our memes like swords against those of other groups we oppose, and win. Then the groups can merge, just like in ancient times, and cultural evolution continues. The beat goes on.

          1. I keep hoping (and cogitating) we can get to the point of understanding human psychology (which I still consider to be a primitive art) where we can definitively detect the sociopaths and worse. We know the (I heard someone use this term recently) ‘warrior’ types have a role to play within overall human behavior and survival. But, without some sane level of supervision they destroy and damage even to the level of our government. I point directly at Paul Ryan, current Speaker of the House in the USA. Within my foggy comprehension of psychopathy, he rates as a Class A Sociopath. He fits the level of brilliance in the maintenance of his ‘Mask of Sanity’. But all you have to do is HEAR him speak about what he wants to DO in the world, or READ what he produces to know the guy could not be more sociopathic. He has no conscience. Yet he has a wonderful banter pretending he does. This sort of sick inhumane person has to be separated out of being able to hurt others.

            But then we get into a whole nasty form of totalitarianism, categorization, abuse of ‘science’, etc. I continue to cogitate on it and have some thought extrapolations I’ll get on paper some day. But what a mess we humans can be in the dark and deep end of our diversity pool.

            1. If psychology is a primitive art it is because we all practise it at a primitive level. It is no less exact and effective than our fight-or-flight conditioning. We are pre-programmed to make snap decisions about imminent threats. This inborn capacity works extremely well. Similarly, our expert recognition of facial expressions and body language make us all brilliant interpreters of any human confrontation. These are only two examples of an array of deep analytical skills dye-stamped into our nervous systems. We hardly need do any conscious thinking to handle the most fraught situations, because our ancestors distilled those skills to our benefit.

              So then, if we are such fine natural-born psychologists, why do we fall prey to hucksters, con artists, and psychopaths? The answer is that most of us don’t, because our automatic decision-making apparatus was built on a large number of experiences and is probabilistically tuned to the maximum likelihood of people we’d expect to encounter in daily life. Miscreants still form a small minority of such daily encounters, averaged over large populations. It goes without saying that there may be local concentrations of them, say in legislatures, where such persons tend to accumulate for a better chance of snagging fish. Glad you know a barbed hook when you see it, and ignore the bait.

            2. Speaking for myself, I automatically assume something someone says is ‘the truth’. I want to believe them. It’s annoying and even difficult to contradict what I’m experiencing as false.

    2. Be careful about mass categorization. It’s a pit of failure. Diversity will throw into the pit.

      But it is entirely fair to say that a lot of people have used technology (note that I point at people, not at technology as the problem) to enable negative behavior in their lives, from hiding, to anonymous trolling (Hello MDN), to endless chatter, to rumor mongering, to relational insecurity, to cruelty at distance, on and on.

      IOW: People find a variety of ways to avoid advancing, improving and growing their lives. Many use tech as one degenerative method. In no way to I consider anyone ‘slaves to this tech.’ Instead, I see them as making poor personal choices that are entirely THEIR responsibility, not the technology’s. Blame heroin for your addiction? No. Blame yourself. You made the choice. We’ve always had bad choices available to us. We’ve always been responsibility for making those choices. Tech is no different.

      Meanwhile, there are those among the ‘millennials’ who have excellent perspective, keep technology in perspective relative to living IRL. Ideally, tech is enabling of brilliant and new aspects of human society. That’s where I choose to live. I champion helping the new kids to learn and figure this out for themselves as well.

      1. Stereotypes and other generalities are essential tools for learning, a set of flash cards to prep us for survival. The problem is our other tools, the ones we make with our hands. What we invent changes our environment faster than we can adapt to it. When we try to understand the new world using old ideas, lunacy and suffering happens.

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