The next generation in portable, internet-enabled technology is upon us. Smartphones are popping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm, and some users are starting to ask if such wearables will eventually conquer the mobile phone.
More and more voices are joining what is turning into one of the great tech debates of our days.
There are arguments for and against smartwatches taking over from smartphones and tablets, but the ultimate answer is yet to be revealed.
For what it’s worth, our money is on smartwatches eventually dominating the market. It only a matter of time. Read on, and find out why.
In Favour of Smartwatches
While popular opinion on smartwatches is roughly split down the middle, the emerging trends indicate that, as their functionality and capabilities improve, more businesses and users will start to recognise and appreciate their value.
For starters, smartwatches come with all the same basic functions of a newer-model mobile phone. That they can be produced according to a range of designs means that they will be trendy for longer than moon-bags ever were.
Smartwatches also have the advantage of being wearable, which means there is no hunting for phones in handbags, pocket dialling last-called numbers, and no absent-mindedly forgetting them on bar stools or park benches.
The even-easier accessibility of apps offered by smartwatches may also help sound the death-knell for mobile phones. Jerome McCarthy theorised that more intense usage follows easier access, and as it is, the average mobile phone user already uses their device for web-related activity such as playing mobile pokies than they do their computer.
What Counts Against Mobile Phones?
Mobile phones have only become as prevalent as they are because they became more affordable. As more and more devices hit the market, so more and more manufacturers adopted competitive pricing in a bid to attract customers.
The result is that mobile phone and tablet markets around the world have almost reached saturation point.
In Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, mobile phones have penetrated approximately 65 percent of the market, whereas in South Korea and Singapore, the market penetration is sitting at 73 percent and 72 percent respectively.
As the markets reach the point of total saturation, so they offer fewer opportunities for growth. This alone would force manufacturers to consider other options, such as wearable technology.
What Currently Counts Against Smartwatches?
At the moment, the biggest drawback to smartwatches is that their more exciting features depend on being connected to a mobile phone. As long as this is the case, mobile phones might be considered by some to be a necessary evil.
This, however, is slowly changing. Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Apple, and HTC have either already released their tentative explorations in mobile phone-independent smartwatches, or are said to be working on launching their first smartwatches.
In fact, Samsung’s Gear 2 smartwatch is already capable of GSM modules. Such modules are what allow mobile phones to be used as phones, which means we are already well on the way to being able to use smartphones as phones.