Will smartphones eventually fade away?

Enterprise IT professionals being driven crazy by managing a small galaxy of smartphones may be happy to hear that these devices could slowly fade away as they migrate functionality to wearables such as smartwatches.

The transition is happening already, according to Computerworld contributor Mike Elgan. While wearables currently augment and interact (through Bluetooth) with smartphones, functionality will be added to smartwatches themselves over time, making smartphones increasingly unnecessary.

“Bit by bit, our smartphone user interface will be replaced by wearables,” Elgan writes. “With the rise of virtual assistants and bots, we’ll increasingly talk to our smartphones through wearables instead of poking at their screens. Notifications and updates will be spoken to us through our wireless earbuds. Haptics will nudge and inform us with increasingly sophisticated vibrations.”

You know where this is leading, don’t you?

“Ultimately, we’ll opt for smaller smartphones that we almost never remove from our pockets, purses and backpacks,” Elgan predicts. “And then one day all the electronics normally built into a smartphone will fit into a smartwatch and we’ll be done with smartphones forever.”

It’s hard to say when smartphones will go the way of pagers, but there’s no doubt that wearables slowly will assimilate the functionality of smartphones, which are amazingly easy to break and have lost or stolen. For enterprises that supply smartphones to their employees, the former (broken smartphones) cost money, while the latter (lost or stolen) can mean serious security vulnerabilities.

Then there are the hassles of getting your phone out of your pocket without dropping it or accidentally calling someone or launching an app. For all of their conveniences, the smartphone form factor itself is limited and clumsy. Why wouldn’t we expect it to change?

What do you think? Do you agree that smartphones eventually will give way to wearables? And do you think that will make IT’s job easier?


  1. Will smartphones eventually fade away?

    Nah, I doubt it. Tablets haven’t yet made laptops disappear, smartphones haven’t yet made tablets disappear, and I don’t think wearables will make smartphones disappear. I imagine that we’ll just realize new and life-changing ways of using these new devices as they grow in power and decrease in price.

    That’s my guess. Great article. Thanks for taking the time to put this out there.

  2. Thanks for the news, I think it will be helpful to me.

  3. Mabey, but how could you watch YouTube or read without a screen large enough to see clearly? I personally would like a wrist watch phone like Dickinson Tracy had but I still want a large enough screen. Perhaps they could have holograms like in Star wars. There is a lot to look forward to.

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