Why Aren’t Smartphones Evolving As Fast As Cell Phones Did?
I remember getting my first cell phone way back in 2000. I was getting ready for college, and my worrisome mother didn't want me on the road traveling without one. It was the legendary Nokia 5110 'Brick.' A phone that either worked, or it didn't. There was never any of this "you're breaking up, let me get a better signal" business. But it was a connection to the outside world, and you could play snake on it.
Skip forward a few years... Yes, phones lasted years back then, and I traded that 5110, with a custom canary yellow face-plate and belt hook it, in for another legendary Nokia. The humble, indestructible Nokia 3310. Those phones were amazing. Great call quality, enough memory for, like, a hundred contacts... They had it all. The 3310 lasted me five whole years of reliable servitude. It was a bittersweet day when I finally stumbled across a new phone that could take pictures... Enter, the RAZR.
Everybody had a Motorola RAZR. They were everywhere. Most in silver, some in black, pink, red, blue, and even fewer in faux-gold. They could connect to the internet, sort of. They had cameras on them. They even managed to make really OK phone calls, but they had an Achilles heal... They were fragile. Even the tiniest drop would almost certainly break the hinge between screen and keypad. I didn't want one, but on the other hand, Motorola had a RAZR that didn't have a flip-screen.
The Motorola SLVR was basically the brick version of the RAZR. It was slim and sleek, but had a much smaller screen, but also had a built in mp3 player that would hold 100 songs. This was so prehistoric that it configured mp3's in terms of quantity over space. It was a great phone. I got another five years out of that one too. Granted, the last two years I had clear packing tape holding the shattered screen together. I loved that phone too.
In 2010, just like everyone in the nation, I caught the iPhone bug. Mainly because phone companies would give you one if you signed a 2-year agreement. Those were the glory days of consumerism. You got perks for using a service. Unfortunately, due to Apples business model of killing their own old phones, I hopped on the Android platform in a Note 3 at the end of 2013. I couldn't believe how many features there were in these new smartphones after just three years. A fantastic camera, 4gLTE service, big beautiful screens, user-replaceable batteries, I even lucked into on the cheap right at the end of the whole user-agreement perks period. I really loved this phone.
I still carry that Note 3 with me today. It's my primary means of communication. Sure, I've looked at phones since, but at a thousand dollars, come on... What leaps and bounds have the phone providers made over the last five years? We don't even have truly waterproof tech yet, it's been standard in other parts of the world for a decade!
I'm not sure where smartphones and the cell industry is headed, but they better get with it. We went from primitive phones that had big 'ol battery bags to compact little nothings in just a decade or so. What is taking so long with the smartphone evolution?
By the way, if you had a Startac, you're old. Get used to it.