What Will Replace the Smartphone?

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read
What Will Replace the Smartphone?

John Gruber in response to the sugestion VR headsets will replace smartphones:

VR headsets will never replace phones. I highly doubt AR glasses ever will either. The iPhone is like the Mac — a 38-year-old platform that is selling better than ever — here to stay.

I remember getting into similar conversations when the Apple Watch was on the horizon. People didn't necessarily think the iPhone was going to disappear, but we vastly overestimated how many tasks would be taken from the iPhone and moved to the wrist; I suspect the same will happen with VR.

I also think we vastly underestimate how substantial the iPhone (and smartphones in general) is to how we function as a society. Already today, your iPhone augments the world around you, and while we don't call it a "metaverse", things that happen exclusively on that device are hugely important to us, both financially and emotionally.

The form factors will evolve, but I think for decades forward we will still have use for a supercomputer that fits in our hand. On an infinite timescale, of course the iPhone will either be replaced or will change so much it's hardly recognizable, but put me in the camp that believes that day is many decades away.