2016: The Year the Smartphone Died

2016: The Year the Smartphone Died

With many analysts predicting that the smartphone will be pretty much obsolete in six years, replaced by Artificial Intelligent assistants and robots, to do our bidding, 2016 marks the end of the reign of the smartphone!

With rapidly declining sales in a saturated market the world’s leading technology brands are struggling to keep up with the public’s demands for innovation, something cool. Please? If not for sloppy manufacturing efforts and visions of grandiose, the empty promises of curved displays, “longer” battery life, and bendable screens never really wowed us.

In race to pack as much processing power and the best screens into a 5.5 inch rectangle major mistakes were made in 2016, that won’t be soon forgotten! In an effort to lose weight Apple decided to remove the Audio jack from the phone and instead force users to use lightning adapters for wired headphones. Pissing off audiophiles and music lovers of all ages. It didn’t help matters when the once hip technology company debuted their coolest looking product yet, the wireless airpods and everyone thought they were ridiculous! About time they caught up.

Microsoft stopped trying to tread in the smartphone waters and finally figured out that they couldn’t swim, weren’t welcomed, or both. Whatever the reason, Windows 10 Mobile will not be going too much farther, as I recently reported in this post back in September. In this new era of Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft is refocusing it’s efforts with Intel, hardware, and investing more in holographic wearable devices.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin came when, reports started pouring in about exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7s. Yes, a major global brand released a smartphone that actually exploded in the hands of their customers! Talk about a drop in Quality Assurance just to win the race. Historians may look at Samsung’s debacle of 2016 as the year smartphone died, but at least it went out with a bang right?

Who knows if Samsung’s smartphone brand will ever be able to recover, but the South Korean conglomerate will be just fine. Don’t get me wrong there was some good news on the phone/tech front this year. Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei is quietly conquering that country with the best sales yet. Their numbers will keep inching up, but it still spells trouble for the other global brands who are not even technically allowed to compete with Huawei, in China.

Amazon and Google got into a fierce battle as the first physical AI assistants took center stage for the first time in history. With Amazon’s Alexa Echo and her baby Dots and Google Home entering the marketplace and selling out like crazy, our new AI overlords look a lot smaller than many science fiction writers have predicted in the past. Technology like this will soon turn our smartphones into bricks, nothing but a black mirror to stare into occasionally. Welcome to the future without a screen!