Will Smartphones Take Over Laptop Functions in the Future?
The smartphone is one of the significant and influential waves that the computing world has seen. The first invention was computers, with the ability to solve problems faster, and with a higher accuracy level than humans. Then came personal computers that eliminated the need to rent time on other people’s machines. This was not the end of innovation, as the internet came next, and computing no longer had to be a stand-alone concept.
With the smartphone, computing is no longer someplace people go to, but something they always have with them. It’s, therefore, a natural thing to wonder if smartphones will become an exclusive computing platform in the future for large segments of the human population.
The Evolution of Smartphones
While each previous innovation created a path for the next, the idea of big computers for intensive use was later replaced by miniaturized personal computers. Manufacturers later harnessed the same hardware used in creating personal computers to develop the infrastructure that supports the internet. Both of these were later put together for the connectivity and miniaturization that are characteristics of a smartphone.
However, smartphones are no longer just phones anymore. While they are used to make calls and send texts, so can computers do the same. It’s just a matter of the right software and peripherals, and other devices can perform the same functions. Besides, “making phone calls” is hardly on the top ten list of essential smartphone functionalities in the modern day.
It has become natural for people to gravitate towards using smartphones because the devices live in their pockets. The gadgets have also become the most definitive form of personal computers, without the likelihood of being shared by many people. In any case, borrowing another person’s phone is regarded as some form of privacy intrusion, something that wouldn’t happen when setting up a guest account on your laptop.
Besides, the uses of smartphones are now endless. They come in handy for engaging in social media, checking emails, online shopping, browsing the web, taking photos, among other functions. All these are functions that you could once perform on your laptop, which explains why it seems like smartphones are replacing laptops.
Smartphone Usage Vs. Laptop Usage
It’s easy to think that these small pocket computers that have become smartphones have won over laptops. When you see them being sold everywhere you walk, it can be tempting to think that laptops are no longer relevant.
In matters of usage, statistics show mobile phones were the main device of choice for 55% of consumers by February 2021. In comparison, only 42% use computers or laptops, and 3% use tablets as their primary devices.
While these figures show that more people rely on smartphones as their primary device, it’s not to say that they all do. Over half of consumers may favor their smartphones above other devices, but it’s premature to say that they have replaced laptops entirely. A good portion of the population is still inclined to laptops and computers as their primary device. It’s also not to say that people who own a smartphone don’t own laptops or computers as well.
Why The Growing Popularity of Smartphones?
There are several reasons why smartphones have become so perennially popular. The first reason is that their features improve with time, enhancing the beauty about them:
- Smartphones are convenient: they are well-designed to suit everyday life, with their small size making it easy to carry them around. Besides, they meet most of your technology requirements at your fingertips. If you need to work on a document on the go, smartphones allow you to do just that.
- They have several helpful features: smartphones are not just for making phone calls. You can surf the internet, take photos, play games, and do a host of other things.
- They can be less expensive: the affordability of smartphones compared to laptops depends on the model and brand in question. Sometimes smartphones can be costlier than laptops, but most high-quality and functional laptops have a higher price than smartphones.
- Mobile-powered desktop computing: Samsung is on its way to making smartphones even more exciting. It has promised to usher in a new era of mobile-powered desktop computing, where new smartphone models support external monitors and mouse and keyboard input. This technology will enable you to work on your desk using your smartphone, especially if you are looking for a more flexible option.
Will Smartphones Replace Laptops?
While smartphones continue to mimic each other’s features, the distinction between them might never go away. While today’s smartphones are technically more robust than they were five years ago, they still hold a peripheral position when it comes to getting work done. It’s hard to find someone who would rather do their work on their mobile device instead of one with a large display and a full keyboard.
One limiting factor for most smartphones is the screen size. Although they come with much larger displays these days, working on documents and spreadsheets is a painstaking affair. The small screens also limit the enjoyment of watching YouTube, movies, and Facebook.
However, a school of thought has it that the market will see the entrance of flexible phones with stretchable screens in the future. Currently, Huawei and Samsung offer foldable phones that let you increase the size of the screen by unfolding them. The technology is still decades away from becoming popular, and in the meantime, smartphones are still limited in their capacity to replace laptops.
As smartphones become more popular with more enhanced functionalities, it’s natural to wonder if they will soon overtake laptops. The truth is that they are still limited in many ways. In the business setting, many programs and functions require larger screens and keyboards for convenience and efficiency.
However, as manufacturers try to bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops, a hybrid device with the processing capabilities of a laptop and the size of a smartphone will probably replace them both.
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