Sunday, November 1, 2015

"The Smartphone"; An Appliance?

Appliances are very useful human tools. However a good appliance does one thing very well. Take a toaster. A toaster makes toast. Just that. But if it is a good toaster is makes good toast. A refrigerator keep things cold. A stove heats things up. My digital camera takes wonderful pictures at very high resolution of plants. My microscope camera takes great high resolution pictures of slides. My toothbrush does a great job on my teeth.

Get the point.

Now a smartphone is really an appliance integrator. It is a phone, a camera, a video recorder, a message device, a web browser, and email device, a player of tunes, a display device for images, and it wants to take over all my bodily functions.

Now PCWorld reports:

The percentage of US adults who own a smartphone or tablet has skyrocketed in recent years, while PC ownership has held more or less steady. That’s the takeaway of a new Pew Research Center surveyWhy this matters: that clearly illustrates the rapid rise of “post-PC” devices.According to the survey, 68 percent of adults in the United States currently own a smartphone, up from 35 percent four years ago. Meanwhile, 45 percent own some form of tablet, up from three percent in 2010. Pew’s data shows that desktop and laptop ownership has remained more or less flat over the last decade. According to Pew, 73 percent of survey respondents currently own a desktop or laptop, compared to 71 percent in 2004. Traditional PC ownership trended slightly upward until the early part of this decade before tailing off somewhat the last two or three years.  Pew’s data reinforces what we already know—that fewer people are buying new PCs, and that more people are turning to mobile devices like smartphones. IDC, the research arm of PCWorld’s parent company, predicted in August that PC sales would slip by 8.7 percent this year and decline an additional 1.1 percent in 2016 before bouncing back some in 2017. 

I do not own a smartphone, in fact I despise them. For example on any subway in New York just look down and there you have every passenger playing on the device. Fiver years ago it was some other Apple device playing music, not it's Candy Crush. There are millions clicking on the screen and strange noises bleeping out. No one reads the newspaper anymore on the train, no a single person. A person could walk through bare naked and not a single person would notice! Yes that happens a few times each day but it is New York.

So what about this appliance thing? Well I have a desktop machine for heavy duty stuff. I have a large laptop for on the road heavy duty stuff. I have an all solid state high end lap top/tablet for go to meeting stuff, like emails and web browsing, like a large smartphone but with brains. Then I have an appliance that is used for phone calls, a cell phone. I can partition my appliances and this allows me to look around on the subway at the humans focused on Candy Crush.

So what is the point? PC sales excluding laptops are appliances for doing complex things. I do complex word processing, spreadsheets, Python programming, complex data editing, image processing, and the like. My high end laptop/tablet (Dell XPS 13) is light and functional to do some complex tasks. As for the phone, call me if you have a problem, but you better have a proposed solution. Unlike some of the folks I see in the AM on my bike exercise who walk on their smartphones endlessly gabbing, my calls last less than 90 sec! Have a nice day. Oh yes, and unlike some of the Presidential candidates, I do not use twitter! And I have not figured out how my smartphone can make toast.