Last Updated Oct 29, 2009 6:00 PM EDT
People are talking about the new Motorola Droid being a GPS killer, but that's just one category. Next up, cameras, both still and video -- 5 megapixels (often more than enough, as I've found in my photographic work) with white balance, scene modes, and 720 x 480-pixel "DVD quality" video images. Right now too grainy, according to the PC World review, but something that can certainly be fixed.
Other categories? How about MP3 players? If you look at unit product sales for Apple, it's clear that as the iPhone increases in popularity, the iPod falls. Granted, that still leaves millions of the units going out store doors, but it suggests what will happen when a majority of handsets become smartphones with storage and user interfaces that make the devices a natural choice for downloading and playing music.
Portable DVD player? I don't know about your family, but my daughter watches video on her iPod touch. Digital recorder for taking notes? Please, not with a straight face. And with the applications available now or soon coming you, consumers will have all manner of software that will eliminate for many (though not all) the need for a netbook or laptop. But while everyone is drooling, there must be executives scared witless. As you roll first one thing and then another into a single device, you eliminate the need for additional purchases. It's the logical extension of the march of semiconductors, with a single chip adding ever more functions. Eventually you buy only a fraction of the chips you once needed, and a lot of companies try to figure out what to do with their spare time. Now that's going to happen on a device level, when suddenly there's nowhere left to run for anyone.
Image via stock.xchng user mzacha, site standard license.