Here’s a very useful web post about how the increasingly-ubiquitous iPhone is replacing a whole host of gadgets, and therefore threatening the existence of companies who make such gadgets.
It’s a great summary of just how amazingly useful the iPhone is (I still can’t afford one, mind, and I’d still rather spend £800 on a new bike). But the real question is, do other device manufacturers even realise yet that they’re in competition with the iPhone?
Once someone has an iPhone, it is going to be tough to persuade them that they also need to spend money on and carry around a dedicated GPS device, point-and-shoot camera, or tape recorder unless they have an unusual need. But the real problem for other device manufacturers is that all of these iPhone features — particularly the always-on internet connectivity; the email, HTTP, and SMS capabilities; and the GPS/location features — can work in concert with each other to actually make better versions of the devices listed above. Like a GPS that automatically takes photos of where you are and posts them to a Flickr gallery or a video camera that’ll email videos to your mom or a portable gaming machine with access to thousands of free games over your mobile’s phone network. We tend to forget that the iPhone is still from the future in a way that most of the other devices on the list above aren’t. It will take time for device makers to make up that difference.