9 Gadgets That Smartphones Made Obsolete. (Huffington Post)
Articles like the Huffington Post piece are not really journalism in the traditional sense, but conjecture. Even though they list technologies/gadgets that ‘probably’ were made obsolete by the smart phone, there was zero research other than finding an image of the gadget.
Here’s their list, then I’ll add to my critique:
- Cassette recorder
- Alarm clock
- mp3 player
- land line phone
- Video cameras
- GPS units
- Wrist watches
- Point and shoot cameras
Well, thinking from a research point of view, it’s nearly impossible to draw cause and effect conclusions from an introduction of one product and the demise of another. Also, many of the so called obsolete gadgets could be replaced by a “feature” phone, not necessarily a smart phone. Many feature phones do have simple apps, like a voice recorder, alarm clock, and music player. Some even have gps capabilities, and have a torch light built in. Oh, and they a camera (and video) and a clock, too!
The piece does ask readers to comment and vote on whether you still use the alarm clock (for example), but this is hardly scientific. How about some industry sales figures of each of these gadget categories, including large scale surveys of smart phone users who no longer use certain gadgets. Are there fewer people wearing wrist watches because they own a phone? While it won’t show cause and effect, strong correlations can still show that the introduction of the smart phone could have changed the sales of the obsolete technologies.
Anyway, the public must like these fluff pieces, as media outlets like Huffington still publish this kind of journalism. Maybe I’m just expecting too much.