Smartphones were first introduced to the world in the year 1992. The first ever ‘smartphone’ was the Simon Personal Communicator, and it was created by IBM. The first smartphone came almost 15 years before Apple iPhone. The term smartphone was, however, coined a little later on. 20 years fast forward, most the phones, which had basic OS, like the Blackberry OS, Palm, Windows Pocket PC, etc. have now evolved into Windows 8.1, Blackberry 10, etc.
The first smartphones were only capable of calling and PDA. Earlier smartphones had resistive touchscreens that had to be operated by a stylus. Today’s smartphones have evolved by leaps and bounds. Everything that we see in today’s smartphones, right from hardware, software, scale, etc; everything makes older phones look ancient.
Today’s smartphones have much more computing power than what the entire Apollo 11 mission had, back in 1969. Our smartphones are capable of doing so much, that we can’t even imagine. With the smartphones, one more technology evolved side by side – the PC. IBM launched the first PC in 1973 and later on paved the way for the Windows PC, the Apple PC, etc.
The PCs were a big hit during the 90s era as people were not much aware of the smartphones, and mobility of devices was not a concern at all. Also, PCs were more powerful computers than phones and could do more than just making calls and sending messages.
However, things began to change for real after the launch of the iPhone by Apple in 2007. Although Android had been launched in 2005 itself, still PCs and laptops ruled the computing market. The iPhone was an instant and global hit, as you had a device that could perform multitasking like a PC, although on a much smaller scale. Slowly, many companies started incorporating Android OS to make smartphones capable of multi-tasking, internet access, calling, SMS, audio/video and other multi-media, in other words, pretty much everything humans can think of.
Older smartphones, by older, we mean the ones ten years ago, had minuscule specifications. Even incorporating RAM in a phone was an achievement. These mid-gen smartphones had just a few MBs of RAM and a little more MB of storage capacity. But they could do nearly everything that the PCs were able to. Sitting in your hands, and without the hassle to sit in front of one, you could check new emails, just by opening your phone screen now. No need to go to a laptop/desktop and set up an internet connection for it.
This boosted the companies’ morale. The world now had a new need. A computing device powerful enough to replace the PC! All mobile phone companies now wanted to make a smartphone for their customers. And so, the era of the PCs began declining by the end the first decade of the 21st century.
As of today, we have devices with up to 6GB of RAM, with up to 256 GB of inbuilt storage capacity, which is much more than what the best PCs had back in 2007 when Apple had brought in the iPhone. With iOS 10, Windows 10.1, and Android 7.0 already in the market, most of these smartphone Operating Systems have incorporated a large number of applications for nearly every task possible by a PC.
Email and Written Communication
The first email was sent more than 40 years ago. We send more than 40 million emails every day now. The number has risen drastically since the incorporation of the email facility in the phone. Now you can read and reply to email sitting in your car on your way to work without hassles; and guess what, you can even download and send attachments of all formats, from PDF to DOCX. One can say, sending an email from a phone is as efficient as that from a regular laptop/desktop today.
The era of gaming desktops and Alienware is slowly coming to an end. With mobile processor and graphics units getting more and more powerful, smartphones are all set to replace PC as the favourite gaming device. WLAN connectivity, and faster access to the internet, games like Asphalt, Need For Speed, Modern Combat 5, etc. help you play online. With real-time multiplayer gaming easily available for phones, you can very well say goodbye to desktops and laptops in the coming years.
There was a time when we were limited to using special DVDs or Blu-Ray disks to watch videos and movies in high definition. We needed a lot of hardware to get that not very long ago. Well, with the incorporation of newer technologies like OLED, AMOLED, Super AMOLED 4K displays being incorporated in phones, we can take multiple full HD videos/movies anywhere in our pockets.
The office suite, once ruled by Microsoft, is now used so extensively; and development of Android on a large global scale, we can see many office suites that can read and edit office documents such as word, excel, powerpoint, etc. And guess what, you can even make a document from scratch using one of the many applications available for download.
If there is one thing, that the PC couldn’t ever do, it was effective voice calling. With technologies like VoIP, SIP, etc. in place, calling and talking to people in real time. And with newer technology being incorporated every few years, we can expect phones to keep ruling in this field. Video calling was something that PCs used to be prevalent in when the webcam was the primary source of imaging for video calling. Now, with high-resolution front cameras, and again, a plethora of applications for video calling facility as well, smartphones seem to be all set to take that position as well.
These are the five most commonly used services in the world, currently shared by PCs and mobiles alike; with smartphones gaining the upper hand slowly but steadily. And of course, a smartphone has its advantages over PC. They are much more portable than laptops, offer same services in a compact fashion with equal ease. Will the PC, which has ruled the heart of millions of people for years together, stand this test of time? Time will tell, and we’ll be there to witness.