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[SUNDAY FEATURE] The hot new debate over the future of the smartphone

Posted by   /  June 15, 2019  /  No Comments

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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

By Steve LeVine | Axios

Just 12 years after the first iPhone, almost every conceivable smartphone consumer on the planet currently owns one — some 4 billion people, according to the consensus. Which has begotten a surprising new trend: a still-small but growing chorus of forecasts (like this) of the smartphone’s demise.

What’s happening: According to the smartphone naysayers, it might look like we are bionically tethered to our devices, but we are actually poised to shed our reliance on them, one function after another. We will turn to our cars to make phone calls, send and receive texts, and get directions. Wearables and home smart assistants will do tasks, make payments, and help us stay on schedule.

The big picture: It is always hard to picture a dramatic change in our accustomed lifestyle, and that can be especially so with technology. The horse-riding populace of the late-19th century did not imagine the automobile revolution only shortly to come. And, more recent and pertinent, very few if any people predicted as late as 2006 that, beginning just a year later, they would gladly fork over $750 for a phone.

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