The smartphone has killed innovation

Posted on Jun 8 2017 - 10:11am by Andrew Wildman

When Steve Jobs introduced the first mainstream smartphone, little did he know he was single-handedly killing world-wide technological innovations for the next nine years.

The same company that changed the face of computers with the iMac, revolutionized the music industry with the iPod, and changed our lives with the iPhone has become the world’s most profitable company at the expense of innovation, as it has only introduced one new product which is anything but revolutionary: the Apple Watch.

In 2007:  Every technology company was competing to revolutionize every aspect of our daily lives with new types of phones, MP3 players, or computers.

In 2017: technology is a wasteland of glass and aluminum monoliths that only try to revolutionize what’s in your pocket.

Ever since the announcement of the iPhone, all tech companies have wanted to focus on is making the best smartphone. From 2001-2010, Apple introduced at least three products that have shaped the landscape of the tech industry. Since then, they have been resting on their laurels.

They put all of their eggs into the basket that is the iPhone. They have let their Macbook pro line of computers become vastly under-powered and overpriced, even for Apple. They let the Macbook Air, which has been called by many sources the perfect laptop, become obsolete. They have stopped caring about trying to change our lives. They only care about putting out a new iPhone every year, and we are okay with that.

However, this is problem is caused in part by us, the consumers. We have allowed companies to become obsessed with smartphones. Markets respond to consumer demands and all we have asked for, as the consumer, is more and more smartphones, and ultimately, we have stopped caring about how technology can change the world.

But there is still hope in the age of new technology. With Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Google Home, we see that technology still has the capacity to thrive.

Companies are starting to get that a smartphone isn’t all we need to push the boundaries of what we are capable of.

Soon enough, we will lift our eyes from our screens and learn how to have a conversation with technology. We will remove the barrier that we hold in our hands between us and infinite knowledge. We will begin to see tech change our lives again.

The ten year technological innovation slump is finally over and the future we are starting to see would have happened a lot sooner had the industry taken its eyes off of the smartphone just one second sooner.

Andrew Wildman is a sophomore integrated marketing communications major from Laurel.