CUPERTINO, Ca. – Apple didn’t invent the smartphone — companies like Palm and Blackberry had been selling them for years. But the iPhone introduced a totally new way to interact with computers. The always-on internet connectivity, finger-friendly touch screen, and interface based around clickable app icons all seem commonplace now. But at the time, the whole package felt revolutionary.
The smartphone was a seismic shift for the technology industry, creating entirely new business models — apps became $100 billion companies — while replacing everything from digital cameras to in-car GPS systems.
But smartphone sales have dropped two calendar years straight for the first time, according to Gartner. Smartphones are old news.
The tech industry’s next bet is a series of technologies usually called augmented reality or mixed reality. The vision usually involves some kind of computer worn in front of the user’s eyes.