11 Technologies Obsolesced by Smartphones

The Smartphone Revolution is Here! Gone are Camcorders, Pagers and Remotes.

Mpeg players, Pagers, and calculators have all been swept into the dustbin of technology and replaced by your smartphone. Today, smartphones can do just about everything these icons from yesteryear could, and much, much more. So, lighten your load. There’s no need to carry around all your old devices anymore — they all can be consolodated into one device, your smartphone.

(Violins and Trumpets)
Let’s spend a minute reminiscing and shedding a tear for technology devices gone bye, and herald in “The Age of the Smartphone”.

The Top-11 Technology Devices Obsolesced By Smartphones

Rating Scale:

  1. **** (extremley obsolete)
  2. *** (very obsolete)
  3. ** (quite obsolete)
  4. * (obsolete)



These buzzing-vibrating little devils — I found them annoying — were state of the art in their day, but are now vintage technology. The issue with Pagers is that once you sent a message to someone, you never knew if they received it or read it. Today, pager replacement App technologies, such as the OnPage Priority Messaging app from Onset Technology, offers persistent delivery, message receipt, message read conformation, over 1000 character limit, and audit trail. That means you are assured that they got the message and read the message. And, of course, it allows you to dump your pager and consolidate everything into one device. So, who needs Pager Replacement? IT staff, doctors, helicopter pilots, Moms and Dads, firemen, financial institutions — as a matter of fact, anyone who sends a critical message that must be read and acted upon quickly should get one of these apps for their smartphone.  **** (extremley obsolete)

GPS Devices

A few years back I paid $250 for one of these technology boat anchors. And the company wanted $49 every two year to update the maps, meaning the maps were going out of date the second you got them. Google Maps is free and it’s always correct (well…most of the time). But free, pretty accurate, and easy-to-use Google Maps on a smartphone is the way to go. It’s so reliable, that I dumped the maps I used to carry in the trunk of my car. *** (very obsolete)

Point-and-shoot cameras

These fashion accessories used to cost $39 to $250 and were not even close to the quality you get from a good smartphone camera. The lens might have been a bit sharper, but the software doesn’t compare to the smartphone. And, best of all, your camera is always with you now – as long as you have your Smartphone. Aside from that, it’s not very easy to take a selfie with a point-and-shoot. *** (very obsolete)

MP3 players

Today, a smartphone can do just about everything your $200 MP3 player could do a few years back, and much more. And, with an increasingly popular range of streaming services, such as Spotify, music on your smartphone is a much better experience than an MP3 player. But, let’s face it, the smartphone doesn’t have the “hood” fashion appeal of the MP3 technology predecessor – the boom box. A boom box brought status. It was a cultural icon (and an object of disdain for those not interested in hearing someone else’s music) – but today, who wants to carry 8 pounds of music on their shoulder. *** (very obsolete)


The video that smartphones recorded a few years back was horrible. And now? Well, the most recent Android smartphones can record a 4K video, which exceeds the resolution for HD (high-definition). Not only that, smartphones make it very easy to share and backup your videos. Now, if you happen to be a videographer Wanna Bee, you might want to purchase a prosumer grade video camera – they have more features, are easier to handle, and the lens is a bit better. But other than that, today there is very little reason, for most people, to purchase a camcorder. ** (quite obsolete)


The first one I saw of these was priced at $700. The next year, the price went down to $225, and the next, $35. Within five years, they were giving calculators away for free as come-ons. Today, calculators cost ZERO! Your basic calculator is included in almost every smartphone. And if you want a really super graphic calculator, you won’t have to pay more than a few extra bucks for the app. ** (quite obsolete)


A while back, every time I went on a business trip, I had to take an alarm clock with me. 1) I never knew if the battery was still working, 2) I wasn’t sure that I had set the time correctly, and 3) I didn’t know if it would actually ring on time. So what did I do? I called the front desk of the hotel to give me a ring so I would wake up on time. Alarm clocks did not provide very reliable technology. Smartphones alarms are totally reliable, and offer an array of alarms. You can choose toots, bells, blasts, and gentle river, or your favorite genre of music to awaken you to the new day. ** (quite obsolete)


The truth is – I love flashlights. I like the way it feels in my hand – and the way it is weighted. It’s as close to macho as this blogger is ever going to get. A flashlight reminds me of what it feels like to go car camping in the woods and the midnight stroll I would take walking from my tent, past the smoldering campfires, to the rustic campground bathroom. (You were expecting a tale about bears? Sorry.) But I do understand that some people find that a smartphone flashlight, or the screen light alone, is sufficient to find your wallet by your bed or the keys you dropped in your car. Not me. I need a “macho” flashlight. * (obsolete)


Now we are increasingly able to use our smartphones as a remote control, eliminating the need for an array of devices to change the channel, rewind the video, or make the sound louder. (I have six remotes in my living room. It often takes me longer to figure out which one to use, than to actually use it.) Smartphone IR blasters and remote control apps can turn your smartphone into a high-end universal remote. (Steve Jobs thought that the universal remote was going to be the “Next Insanely Great Thing” prior to developing all the “i” devices. But at that time, he hadn’t dreamed up the iPhone.) * (obsolete)

Voice recorders

I remember that I paid $89 for a voice recorder and the manual was over 40 pages long. Even after thumbing through the document, I could never figure out how to use the device fast enough to record a conversation. Then, the built-in voice recorder came along for the smartphone. Price? Free!  Combine the voice-recorder with Google’s automatic speech-to-text and what do you have? An advanced voice recorder that offers a fairly good transcription for zero dollars. * (obsolete)


Want know what time it is? Ask someone near you. 9 out of 10 times they are going to check their smartphone. Today, the wristwatch is being pushed by marketers as a luxury item for the wealthy (they usually feature some actor or actress or Donald Trump or someone totally out of me league). Also, kids like wearing the ones that feature Mickey Mouse, Cinderalla or dinosaurs — but it’s more about design than telling time. The functionality features of a wristwatch doesn’t compare to that of a smartphone. So, we may soon be witnessing the dispareance of the wristwatch. But then again, they predicted that TV would totally replace radio, and no one would be going to a movie theater once the big TV screens came out. Time will tell if the smartphone replaces the wristwatch — or maybe, the idea of wearing your smartphone on your wrist catches on.

* (obsolete)

The Future

The big advantage of the smartphone is that it does a zillion things, it does them well, it’s connected to the Internet, has a  gigantic developer community, is chock-full-of-convenience, and is relatively inexpensive. However, at the rate technology is changing, Google Glasses, or something that hasn’t even been dreamed up yet, may turn the smartphone into just another obsolescent antique form yesteryear — along with the Pager. But, no matter what happens, I’m still keeping my flashlight!

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