Is Our Love Affair with Smart Phones Coming to an End?
If recent sales reports from a few major cell phone manufactures are any indication of what the future may hold, the end could be near.
Smartphones have had a good long run, one only needs to walk out in a busy public area to see them in use pretty much everywhere these days. Are they a fad and will one day people simply get tired of them and go back to a basic style dumbed down phone?
Two recent news stories posted on the Internet from giants in the smartphone industry have left us wondering if the smartphone fad is about over.
HTC recently released their earning's report from the first quarter of this year and the bottom line is bleak. Their revenues declined a massive 64%! Normally this huge hit to their earnings would have made their stock holders really nervous. Except their stock did the unthinkable, it went up. This was mostly on the news that their new VR Vive was available for pre-order and already 15,000 units have already been reserved.
Virtual Reality head gear is getting ready to be the next big trend in consumer electronics and could one day totally change how we interact with our smartphones. Think about it, instead of walking around with our smart phone held up to our face, we simply connect to our smartphone while it's in our pocket and walk around in a VR world while still being aware and able to see everything that's happening in the real world around us.
Smartphones could easily one day shrink down to the size of USB flash drive. VR glasses will eventually become light and clear like a pair of glasses. They already make glass windows that can go opaque to clear in an instant.
This is some pretty cool tech and will also require a great way to control it. Tech companies are already working on this as well. STMicroelectronics has come up with a way to control your smartphone or tablet without actually touching the display. That's right, you can swipe and move things around without a single finger print or smudge and your finger can be as far away as 2 inches.
This is exciting stuff, and will let smartphone manufactures move the input device to maybe something you would wear on your wrist like an Apple watch.
Why Smartphone Sales are Crashing
While the VR market may be a shot in the arm for HTC, it still does not explain why their smartphone sales tanked so badly last quarter. It could have something to do with customers waiting for their new HTC 10 smartphone which is due out soon. Although, their last few new models did not do much to improve sales for the company.
Apple's iPhone sales also dropped 11% last quarter. This is the first time this happened in 13 years.
Many people who own smartphones are simply worried about their information getting stolen, and just want to unplug from constantly checking their phones. While smartphones may be dropping a segment of the phone market went up last year.
Why Dumb Phone Sales are On the Rise
Call them what you will. Flip phones, dumb phones or burners their sales actually increased last year.
People could be getting weary of constantly being tied to their smartphones. A dumb phone brings welcome relief, no more checking their emails work, constantly following their Facebook walls or twitter feeds or they simply just want to unplug.
Datacaps or rising mobile internet costs could also be starting to have an effect. Smartphone data plans can cost just as much as an unlimited home internet connection. Many budget conscious Millennials may simply be choosing a lower cost alternative.
Another possibility is they are still keeping their expensive $500 phones and just using free guest WiFi to still connect to the Internet on them. While using their cheap flip phones to meet their communication needs.
This could be very unwelcome news for the Smartphone industry and welcome news for the notebook and tablet industry which may enjoy a healthy bounce in sales.
That is before VR takes off and then all bets are off. Below you can check out just how scary the Paranormal Activity VR Game is. When you are ready to pull the trigger on VR yourself, check this out.