Smartphones are dead Part I: This is the age of the mini-tablet

I am a huge science-fiction fan. As such I have "seen" worlds where technology and humanity collide in such intricate ways that attempts to discern where one ends, and the other begins is often an exercise in futility. It is the realm of human imagination that brought us the worlds of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, Dan Simmons Hyperion, Arthur C. Clarke's 2001, Isaac Asimov's Foundations series or the infinite worlds of an exhaustive list of other visionaries. This realm of boundless imagination is the same place of human consciousness that has plucked elements from those worlds and planted them firmly in the concrete reality in which we live.

Indeed, science fiction has often been the "prophetic" musings of individuals who, before their time, envisioned significant technological advances. They then took pen to paper and articulated how these advances would integrate within, alter and even direct social norms, culture, society, health care, politics, communication and even war. As such much of the technology we use today appeared years earlier in the annals of science fiction.

Take cell phones for instance. The flip phones that we began discarding in 2007 for more advanced smartphones are a realization of the remarkably similar communicators from the 1960's Star Trek series. Moreover, those slate styled tablets that began filling the consumer space after the introduction of the iPad in 2010 were foreshadowed in the second installment, The Next Generation, of that same series in 1987.

We are not quite at the cybernetic, forearm-implanted smart devices of Robert Sawyers Neanderthal Parallax that are persistently connected, know us, monitor our health and act proactively in our favor. But the "smartphones", as we call them, that do perform those functions (and more) are simply highly personal smaller versions of the "tablets" that were foreshadowed in Star Trek the Next Generation thirty years ago.

We have grown quite comfortable in calling these particular slate computers that act as a portal and helm to our digital lives – "phones." Given their origin and the fact that telephony is among the primary functions of these devices, this is understandable. But the truth of the matter is that the devices that we carry with us daily on which we perform a broad range of complex computing and which act as an extension of our physical selves into the digital world are no more phones than the Star Ship Enterprise is a yacht.

Smarter than your average phone

The textbook definition of a smartphone is "a mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system which combines features of a personal computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use." I get it.

As we've transitioned from what has traditionally been called a "phone" to these newer more sophisticated devices this definition has been a fitting accommodation. Particularly in the earlier days of the cell phones evolution from a mere point-to-point communication device when the phone was first becoming, well, smart.

However, as we've trekked at a dizzying pace from those early evolutionary steps and that initial designation, the transition from phone to what these devices are today has been so complete, revisiting any affiliation of these devices with the word "phone" may be in order. In truth the word "phone" may carry with it a legacy that is becoming increasingly archaic.

This linguistic burden may indeed be out of sync with the direction that the industry is moving. As such, this language may add a cognitive weight to the perceptions of many hindering their ability to fully grasp the position of these devices as personal computers; and the moves company's such as Microsoft and its PC partners Hewlett Packard and Acer are making to position them as such in their ecosystems.

Hindering their ability to fully grasp the positon of these devices as personal computers.

For those who live on the cutting edge of tech such as enthusiasts, tech writers, industry analysts and science fiction writers an embrace of this transition is likely a bit easier. That is, for those who can perceive this shift through the haze of the dominant smartphone paradigm ruled by the iPhone and Android devices. The view of these individuals, whom history may ultimately ascribe the designation visionaries, is likely coalescing around the emerging reality of context-sensitive devices that conform physically and in relation to software to varying scenarios.

It's a slow shift wrought with the inertia of an established paradigm. Invested parties such as Apple and Google and those with an established perception such as analysts and bloggers may be resistant to acknowledging this shift touting the current "establishment" and its entrenched position as a perpetual order.

Evidence of a shifting reality toward an all-in-one personal computing device is dismissed by some.

Evidence of a shifting reality away from a "smartphone-centric" paradigm toward a device that embraces the more complex role of an all-in-one personal computing device is dismissed by some as a dream for which the industry is neither technologically ready nor consumers prepared. I concede that the transition won't be complete tomorrow, but I contend that the foundation is being laid today.

In a world that has embraced 2-in-1 PCs led by Microsoft's category defining Surface, it is not hard to imagine a Continuum enabled smart device that fits in the pocket but is capable of serving as an all-in-one PC. Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella is striving to make that vision a reality:

If anything, one big mistake we made in our past was to think of the PC as the hub for everything for all time to…the high volume device is the six-inch phone...But to think that that's what the future is for all time to come would be to make the same mistake we made in the past…Therefore, we have to be on the hunt for what's the next bend in the curve…We're doing that with our innovation in Windows…features like Continuum.Even the phone, I just don't want to build another phone, a copycat phone operating system, even…when I think about our Windows Phone, I want it to stand for something like Continuum. When I say, wow, that's an interesting approach where you can have a phone and that same phone, because of our universal platform with Continuum, and can, in fact, be a desktop. That is not something any other phone operating system or device can do. And that's what I want our devices and device innovation to stand for.

In considering how far personal computing has come in just the last thirty years and how profound the evolution of the smartphone has been in the last nine, it is not hard envisioning this vision soon becoming a reality.

Back in the day

I grew up in an age before cellphones were in every pocket. I remember the world before a World Wide Web entangled our lives in a complex digital and physical duality. Though I am by no means old, I can recall a time when a computer capable of fitting in a pocket, served humans via digital assistants, connected with a seemingly infinite repository of information and allowed a user to speak with a friend via live video was a thing of science fiction.

To be frank, not only do I remember a world before ubiquitous pocketable computers, but I'm quite acquainted with a time before PCs were commonplace in virtually every home. Thus, I have what is becoming an increasingly less common perspective, where the thought of a phone and a computer occupying the same technological space was the privilege of a visionary and not the common man.

The thought of a phone and computer occupying the same technological space was the privilege of a visionary.

For perspective consider this: My childhood was a time when the word "phone" elicited imagery of a device comprised of a handset connected, via a stretchy coiled wire, to a weighted base with a rotary dial or number pad. This base was tethered to the wall by a wire of finite length. When the phone "rang" it was a literal ring produced by a bell of sorts on the interior of the device. The scope of this devices range of functionality was to allow two or more individuals in distinct locations to speak to one another. Nothing more.

The word "computer" elicited an entirely different image.

A computer was a powerful computational device which I saw on television and read about in stories or the comics books I enjoyed. Or it was the simple television connected Aquarius computer my dad bought me when I was about 10 or 11 years old. Additionally, through a child's eyes, I perceived, via the media, the profound power of these devices. I witnessed a range of functions from data and information management to gaming to the power of computers to help Nasa launch rockets into space.

I also saw the fantastic and imagined applications of computers that were portable, connected wirelessly to vast databases of information and allowed video communication like the character Penny's book-shaped computer from the 1980's cartoon Inspector Gadget.

That said, in no instance during my childhood over 30 years ago did the word "phone" conjure an image of a rectangular slate device dominated by a glass touch-screen display which possessed the range of functionality (and more) of Penny's computer book. A phone was not a computer.

A phone was not a computer.

It's amazing to me that Penny's fictional book-shaped computer, which I as a child, perceived as an incredibly advanced device, is for all intents and purposes our "smartphone" of today. It's even more remarkable that these powerful pocket-sized PCs that are a magnitude more powerful than computers that filled entire rooms mere decades ago are so commonplace and such an integrated part of our lives that we nonchalantly hand them over to babies and toddlers to distract them. It's funny how quickly we become acclimated to things that literally "wowed" us not long ago.

Outgrowing the name

When I was about ten years old, I felt that I had outgrown the nickname my mother had given me years earlier. After I asked her to refrain from calling me that nickname, my mom reluctantly complied. The "smartphones" we carry in our pockets today may have made a similar transition.

Consider this: These pocket-sized "personal computers" which have the processing power of "super-computers" of decades past contain, as a norm, onboard storage capacities ranging from 8GB to 128GB. The 32GB midrange capacity is a full 30 times greater than the 1 GB that was available to me on my first laptop which I bought in 1997 for more than $2000. Moreover, RAM ranging from 2GB – 4GB, on these devices, is commonplace. High definition displays and high-quality sound systems are also standard parts of the package. Imaging technology has reached such heights that these "personal computers" have made basic point-and-shoot cameras nearly obsolete.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryLumia 950iPhone 6s
OSWindows 10 MobileiOS 9
Screen Size5.2 inches4.7 inches
Screen Resolution1440x2560 (564ppi)750x1334 (326ppi)
Processor1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 64-bit hexa-coreApple A9 64-bit dual-core
Internal Storage32GB16GB/64GB/128GB
External StoragemicroSD
SecurityWindows Hello iris scannerTouch ID fingerprint scanner
Rear Camera20MP ƒ/1.9 PureView camera, triple-LED flash12MP ƒ/2.2 iSight camera, dual-LED flash
Front Camera5MP, wide-angle lens5MP, screen flash
Battery3000mAh removable1715mAh non-removable
ChargingQi wireless, USB Type-C port, Quick ChargeLightning port

Furthermore, they are consistently connected to the internet and place any information on virtually any topic literally at our fingertips. Or with the support of personal digital assistants, information is actually a "Hey Cortana", "Hey Siri" or "OK Google Now" voice-command away.

Additionally, these "PCs" run programs – applications – or apps as we like to call them that enable us to do a variety of things with a single piece of highly portable hardware. For example, we have regular access to feature-rich word processing, intense gaming that makes the arcade games I grew up playing look archaic, a host of communication and social apps that keep us connected and more. If we want to get something done with these "PCs", there is quite literally an app for that.

Given the power of these devices and how their use has evolved in and evolved our lives, culture and the world; and the trend of these pocketable slates toward larger dimensions to more comfortably accommodate a wider range of personal computing activities, it is a wonder that we still refer to them as phones at all.

Phone calls rank sixth in activity conducted on these devices.

I do realize that we still make calls on these "phones." However, a 2014 study revealed that phone calls actually rank sixth in activity on these devices after activity such as text messaging, emailing and checking Facebook. There has indeed been a cultural and industry shift in how we view these devices. We no longer look at them primarily as a point-to-point voice communication device. The fact that specs such as storage capacities, processor speeds, display and camera quality and accessibility to the most popular apps are at the top of a "phone" consumers buying decision, is telling evidence of this reality.

There is clear shift in how we have culturally evolved in the use of these devices. Moreover, OEMs are moving in a direction where they are equipping these devices with a more complex array of high-end hardware akin to what we've traditionally associated with PCs. Given these facts, I think it's time that our language catches up to the reality that that these pocketable personal tablet computers are clearly not "phones" anymore.

Where we go from here

For those who may advocate the position that the identifying of smartphones as "phones" or "tablet personal computers" is merely an exercise in semantics, consider the following:

Words carry with them the power to convey a thought or an idea. This thought or idea when associated with something serves to identify that object. Thus, how something is identified is often followed by how it is then perceived or classified by the masses. The classification of that product determines how it is subsequently positioned in the market. Consequently, a products market position, particularly in the tech industry, affects its ability to take advantage of the direction and trends of the industry and ultimately affects the products impact in that market space. In a nutshell: words matter.

Nadella is on record with conveying that Microsoft is on the hunt for the mobile personal computing paradigm that is beyond the bend in the curve: beyond the smartphone. His language about a "phone…[that]…can, in fact, be a desktop" with the Universal Windows Platform and Continuum is telling of what he believes that paradigm shift will be. We can already see the early stages of how Microsoft will position these highly portable personal computers – "these devices formerly known as smartphones" - in the company's ecosystem and the market at large.

I contend Microsoft's imminent device that fully exemplifies this concept via hardware design and software implementation will be more closely identified with a personal computer than a phone. This "device formerly known as a smartphone" will be positioned to accommodate the increasing demands of mobile personal computing in a way competing devices without a universal platform or context sensitive OS cannot.

Finally, though Surface "Phone" is the broadly used moniker for the anticipated Microsoft hero device, I posit that its potential market position as an ultra-mobile personal computer (with telephony) will result in an exclusion of "phone" entirely from its ultimate name and industry positioning.

This is just the beginning

You say puh-tey-toh (potato), I say puh -tuh-toh (potato). You say phone; I say tablet computer. Microsoft says, the foundation for the personal computing "device formerly known as a smartphone."

Whatever Microsoft will call the devices powered by Windows 10 Mobile after the launch of its next flagship early next year they will be positioned as the next step in personal computing. And rest assured they will not be phones.

Stay tuned for "Smartphones are dead Part II: Microsoft and the device formerly known as a smartphone."

In the meantime sound off in comments and meet me on Twitter @JLTechWord to continue the discussion!

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • As usual thanks for reading. We are living at an interesting juncture in the evolution of personal computing. Some see the shift toward an all-in-one personal computing device as an organic evolution of how we use or "smartphones"(mini-tablets). Others see the shift as a large corporation, Microsoft attempting to force this change in the direction of it's own strengths. The truth is it's likely a combination of both. A fuller truth is that it is likely inevitable. Will Microsoft change the game and become a leader on the new personal computing paradigm or will Google's imminent play at a combined OS(due to be announced this year and released next year) put them at the top? Or will Apple in thier unique way offer a solution in thier closed environment that tips the balance? Lots to think about. Let's talk!
  • iSteal will probably be copycat and copying Microsoft's ideas. Sent from pichke materine ;)
  • But Apple have been able to connect by HDMI to TVs and monitors for years. Any Apple device was able to screen mirror from the iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. I have been using iOS as a way of having a pocket computer for years. With a Bluetooth keyboard and wireless printer/scanner Apple devices make excellent pocket computers, not to the same level as Continuum, but certainly very capable devices. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Even of that's the case, apple hooking up to a tv is nothing more than a phone or tablet running on a screen whereas continuum is computer like Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • We have recently trialled a 950 at work and believe me this is not look me running full blown computer either. With iOS can browse the Internet, send emails, create documents, print, scan and use apps. Not sure what else I would want to do on a home computer. In fact it does most of these things faster than my desktop computer at work. The only thing it lacks is the ability to scale to a large screen monitor, the menus bars are much too large on the large screen. This is also true of my android phones and windows phones not running Continuum. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Crosswhite: I can give you four immediate examples that work better with Continuum: the mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. When you run them in 'phone' mode, they're scaled down and much more limited or difficult to use. When you switch to desktop mode or run them on a tablet, they become much more serious productivity apps. You personally may not have a use for them, but there are enough people who do that they've become some of the most popular downloads on all three platforms.
  • You have got me all wrong. I do use all of the office apps on my phones, windows, Android and iOS. I do realise they are a better experience on Continuum devices, but they work perfectly fine on other devices using screen mirroring, Bluetooth keyboards and mouse. The original poster said Apple would copy the features of Continuum and call it there own. I was just trying to point out that Apple had seen the advantages of taking phone apps to the big screen years ago. I have no doubt that eventually all 3 OS's will offer similar features if they become really popular. This is what I have always wanted in a phone but I am not sure even 1% of all mobile phone users are interested in it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 99 persent: I think you've not made this distinction clear. With all other phones and tablets (Windows included), the screen simply mirrors what's on the screen of the phone or tablet. With Continuum, the phone switches from classic smartphone mode, to a quasi-desktop mode and acts more like a desktop system. Because of how UWP works - a properly written UWP app has almost nothing to do to make this switch - it's just a resize. That ability to switch to a desktop-like mode doesn't exist for iOS or Android, and since most apps on those platforms aren't design to resize (although auto-layout on both platforms provides most of the same functionality), they won't cope as well.
  • Thx for clearing that up sir, you've explained it well Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • Hooking tour Apple device to your HDTV is such a limited, but expected consumer/iCattle response to Microsoft's Continuum. Apple has nothing comparable to Continuum: NOTHING.
  • Keep believing this if you want. I can use MS office, Google's equivalent office products and Apple's iWork suite all on my old iPhone4. I can print from and scan directly to my iPhone yet my Lumia 735 running Windows 10 on the insider slow program does not do this. I can also use Adobe Fill and Sign app to fill in pdf documents which is still not available on Windows phones. What productivity do you do on your phone that cannot be done on an iPhone? At work all our company mobile phones are Windows phones, yet most members of staff simply have their phone diverted to their own personal phones, mostly iPhones. Posted via the Windows Central app
  • Crosswhite17, how were you able to connect a mouse to your iPhone4? 
  • You can connect a mouse to Continuum capable phones. Can you do the same on your iPhone? Can't imagine being productive in Excel for example if you can't use a mouse with it.
  • You use the arrow keys on your keyboard in Excel, the same as I do using on my desktop. Not really difficult at all. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Actually I don't use my iPhone 4 on the big screen as the iPhone 4 did not support screen mirroring, which only came in with the 4S. It is no problem on my iPad though as I just use the arrow keys on the keyboard. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Well using MS Office on iPhone4's 960x640, without a mouse, is not what you would call productive. So there's your answer, while it's true you can run MS Office on your iPhone4, I doubt it will be of any use, much more productive, without a big screen and a mouse. And while you can mirror your iPad screen to a large display, you can't use a mouse which is a pain for most people and again not very productive.
  • Actually it is very useful in my iPhone. I often have documents emailed to me that I can open up and edit and email back. I can also print and scan to to my wireless desktop printer that is not supported in Windows 10 mobile. Have you ever watched the Microsoft videos that showed you how to be productive on your Windows phone? Well I can do all that and more on my iPhone, which by the way is not my primary phone. I just can't understand your hatred for Apple, if you don't like their products, don't use them. I use Android, Windows and iOS and all are great products, but in my opinion iOS is just more compatible with the third party devices that I use.
  • I didn't say I hate Apple. You seem to be reading something else from what you're seeing. I have an iPhone 5s and I'm quite sure the experience editing Office documents in it is nowhere near what people would call "productive". You can edit one or two things here and there but to say it's "productive" is a bit of a stretch. As for printing, it seems you can do that now in the latest builds using network printers so it really looks like you're the one hating, not me.
  • You can't be serious in that you think you can be productive using arrow keys in Excel... How small are you datasets?? haha Do the CTRL+Arrow commands work on the mobile apps at least?
  • I was able to connect my N8 to the TV via HDMI long before the iPhone could do the same. But you should understand that this was just simple mirroring. Continuum is something entirely different. It's a computer that adapts to the screen.
  • Heh, I just replied the same. The N8 was a really interesting device, after all.
  • I could connect my old Nokia N8 to a mouse via USB and probably to a keyboard either through USB or bluetooth, then its display to an external monitor through its built in mini-HDMI. Continuum is a different use paradigm than using a phone with a keyboard, mouse and monitor because you use the exact same apps that on your PC.  That's not the case even with the sub-OS that is iOS in respect to OS X, and is exactly what Microsoft are achiving with Windows 10 Continuum. Hence its importance.
  • I second that. Btw I live near your place, pal.
  • ...sure, and Microsoft has never stolen any idea from anyone else....the problem with Microsoft is they just don't execute it well. Anyone for a Zune? 
  • Hey Jason, great new series
    As usual, i have a few points of make Firstly, while it is true that smartphones have moved into the 5-6 inch bracket, i don't believe that the smartphone as a smartphone is dead, curtsy of the title, i think that the future of mobility and productivity is not dependant on the size of the device but it's ability to power a fully blown, productivity oriented experience, in this respect I agree with your points over continuum being the first step towards such an experience, but if i may say, i will not say the pc as a productivity tool is dead, it has simply transformed into a smaller form factor in terms of powerful laptops and Ultrabook's, even today, heavy rendering and editing are done on pc's because it's power has nit been harnessed into a smaller form factor.
    Nonetheless, i feel, and i base this of a rumor, is the fact that a windows 10 mobile device running on an x86 architecture is truly the future od consumer and enterprise mobility and productivity. If such a device is ever to exit, no matter what the form factor, it could say be a 4/5 inch device as well, it would still change the computing landscape.
    So it's not about size but the experience a device can power. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • @Dhanakit Thanks for the input to the discussion:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • @Jason absolutely, its a pleasure to read your work :D
  • Guess they are dead. Use to pick my smartphone up every 15 seconds, now it's every 30 seconds.
  • Jason while you have great editorial skills, I feel that you have a naive view of Windows phone to a point where I feel like you being paid by Nadella to write these articles. 
  • U think chrome OS can surpass windows 10 ...........then i think for this naive view google would be paying u!!!!!!
  • That is a ridiculous accusation. Because he sees and agrees with the vison doesn't mean that he's in cahoots with the visionary. Who is paying you to disagree?
  • Make a wild guess!!!!
  • Naive would be to say that Microsoft will conquer the world next month and both iOS and Android market share will suddenly crash to less than 10%. What Jason has been putting forth in his great articles is a clear prediction of the future, not just for Microsoft but for technology in general, these predictions I feel have been totally accurate and in any case never say that Microsoft will be able to claim huge market share as again I feel that would be naive too. What Windows 10 and this whole concept of Continuum brings is clearly the next step forward for technology, if I could have a "phone" that is actually a full blown PC running x86 apps, why would I buy a phone that can play angry birds and let me update my facebook? I am certain that by 2018 Microsoft will have a respectable market share in the mobile space, but here I am talking more along the lines of 10% globally, not 50% etc. At the moment, Windows 10 Mobile is not ready, the ecosystem is not mature enough yet and the hardware is not there yet either, however the concept and the basis for everything is already here today and it is evolving rapidly, as such Microsoft is already in the best position to bring about this huge shift in mobile. The key thing here is timing, I think the timeline that Microsoft is working on is actually one of the most genius parts of their plans, by this time next year so many different plans will be paying off and coming together at the same time it will reveal the result that we as Windows fans have all been waiting for I.e. Apps, true flagship hardware and finally both marketing and focus on mobile. It's not easy to track all the different announcements, rumours, leaks and public comments coming from Microsoft and then turn it into one big picture but luckily for us, we have Jason to do all that hard work for us and he has done an excellent job so far. To dismiss his research and opinions as naive without any real basis or argument is actually being naive.
  • Sadly playing angry birds and updating Facebook is all 90% of the dirty herd want.
    Continuum is very cool but sadly will be a niche corporate product.
    If they ended up garnering 10% market share as a consequence MS would be over the moon, but that dream is akin to flying there at this point.
  • Microsoft will not pay even a penny to someone who writes WP will one day be successful. They simply laugh when they see articles like this. ------------
    iPhone first, iCloud first.
  • Someone give this man a beer...
  • I think it's worse. He actually believes much of what MS says. Otoh, so do I :)
    This is a solidly written article that gives a much needed "when I was your age" perspective. We tend to forget that there are people reading this, who've never had to type LOAD "" into their computers. There is a generation gap between us who dreamt the electric dreams and those fast and furious kids of today.
    There's but one small typo in Arthur Clarke's last name.
  • @imo786 Thanks for the compliment of my writing. If you really look at my writing the primary position is that of providing analysis and communicating a complex strategy. Though,yes I am optimistic, I am neither paid by nor given any sort of perks to offer this analysis. As one that provides this analysis I support my analysis with quotes and industry that for me paints the picture I share.
    I don't come up with the perspective first. I see the data, industry trends, moves by others in the industry consumer behavior, technological advances and put into prose the picture that collage if data paints. I enjoy an intelligent discourse. I invite you to share with me your perspective with supporting evidence that will move me from my position of "naitivity" to a more informed status. Thanks for joining the conversation!:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • At a time where all article writers and bloggers focus on the current events, a futuristic approach is what we need and Jason has delivered again. From the person who rekindled the hope in Windows mobile to the person who is shifting the focus towards the future, Jason never fails to surprise. Never have I read such an article where a bridge between the present and the future is clearly stated. Once again I thank you for this masterpiece and I hope for more articles the near future.
  • Could not have said it better friend. Jason's rational thinking and writing goes far beyond what typical blogging and other media garbage most what to read. He asks one to think and consider. So many people are stuck on yesterday, cannot get past today and tomorrow is not in there future. Jason, how wish your writings were seen by the majority... I know Daniel/Rene handles all the new gadgetry of today and talks about what people want today... But your writings are truly defining and worth more than all mobile nations to me. Stuff like this keeps me coming back. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Now that MS apologists are convinced that they have lost the smartphone war, they now like to make themselves believe that the smartphone itself is dead. "The grapes are sour. I don't want them," said the fox, going away.
  • i Phone no more!
  • @Maktaba Fool's opinion about Microsoft. You can't imagine what Microsoft is thinking,what Microsoft is inventing.
    Fox can't tear(understand) grapes, so grapes are Sour.
  • Jason states that Google are going the same way as Microsoft this year with one OS...... so Jason seems to see where technology is going. As for apologists and sour grapes..... it's you that seems bitter.
  • It is naive to think that mobile computing won't evolve beyond what it is now. The companies/platforms that are best prepared for this can be debated. But that doesn't change the fact that things will change.
  • This is a very superficial way to interpret the article.
    Sent from Mail on my HAL 9000
  • Yes. Jason Ward has been writing about a "game changing" device for months now. You haven't been paying attention.
  • Amen to that. Sorry guys (and gals) but the Windows phone thing is kind of dead. 2% of global share and dropping is well beyond where businesses' start to pull the plug and rethink their strategy. But Microsoft deserves as much of the blame as the public; they took trashed some of the key reasons the public did respond positively to Nokia devices (cameras, social networking, maps, etc) and pretty much killed it all off. Microsoft could have bought HERE and they didn't. 
  • Google is already thinking if a similar path and that's because they agree that this is the future. I think back to when games had to be bought in a box and installed from a disk. Now people use services like steam and can have their entire game collection wherever they go without carrying 100 discs. Tv was once the only avenue for entertainment and again discs. Now you login to a cheap service like Netflix and watch what you want. Things are changing. You have this powerful rectangular box but it's limited to screen size and input. This box should transform based on your need instead of buying all these separate devices to do what the current device is powerful enough to do for you. Input and screen size shouldn't be a limitation with all this processing power. And these devices will only become more powerful. What good is it showing off how powerful your phone is when you still are limited to what every other phone does. At this point it's only there for bragging rights. My phone scored so high on antutu... Let's login to Facebook and chat... Seriously makes very little sense. These phones are more powerful than a lot of laptops, make good use of them, turn them into something different. Something that will make the high price tag worth it. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's Lumia 950xl
  • @poopyfinger;I agree. With the new memory chips and faster storage that bring speed and large storage capacities these devices of which some are not paying attention to are going to play a major role like they do now. If the storage card exist now a Microsoft phone will allow you to carry 2 terabyes of data which took a desktop decades to evolve and that is really awesome to have such a device that can be put in your pocket.
  • Another fantastic read Jason, I think you deserve a beer, have a great weekend!
  • Thanks for the support! -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • GUNS N' ROSES!!!
  • Thank you so much for yet another insightful article Jason. Your comments about your childhood and your first computer really touch my heart because I remember when my dad moved from a typewriter to our family's first computer in the early 90s. I don't believe in taking technology for granted which is why I really appreciate the phenomenal gadgets that we have now and why I am beyond excited for the One Windows vision. I think that making it so that no matter what "smartphone" we have in our pocket, regardless of OS, a person will be able to take advantage of what Microsoft and Windows has to offer is a brilliant idea and I love what concepts like Continuum bring to the table. Please keep up the good work.
  • @ladydias Thanks so much. I appreciate that. I love gadgets too. I wish I could afford to buy more. But then again if I did maybe I wouldn't get as much done. I might be to absorbed in all the gadgetry.
    Thanks again for your support:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • You should be on CNN. And I think you should be a guest on TWiT: Seriously!
  • @tallgeese hmmmmmmm. I think I might like that.;-)
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Just to say, whilst I haven't read the whole article yet and there's probably more context behind it, but I find it an odd title considering Apple has just released the iPhone SE due to demand for a smaller version of the iPhone 6. That doesn't really seem to fall into the "tablet" calling for the death of smart phones. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Read the whole article then...
  • I will when I have a bit more time to go over it, I always like Jason's articles, but I'm just stating the title seems a little controversial and I'm sure many other people will be along soon enough to say things far worse than I have as a result.
  • A controversial title on a video or article is called click bait. It's to grab the reader and entice them in to read the article. It's got some good ideas if im honest and is convincing. What I got from it was windows 10 (mobile) is doing more than normal smartphones are, and could be the future. Continuum is a huge break through. Hololens is a huge break through. Both running windows 10. Smartphones that can "only" connect to facebook through an app may be dying if phones can become computers and hololens replaces your phone at home.
  • Any good headline or title will will grab attention and entice people to read or watch the content. That's the point. It becomes click bait when the title is all that there is and the content is either irrelevant to the title or poorly written/researched. This opinion piece is neither.
  • Debatable. A sensational headline like "smartphones are dead" is neither true nor actually achievable in the immediate future. That headline has baited you into clicking on it due to that. Hence click bait. I'm not saying this type of bait is bad. There is such a thing as good click bait.
  • I don't think the SE is close to selling at the iP6 level. It's also clear in the article that Jason isn't saying that the shift will happen tomorrow or that there won't be people resistant to change. People still buy flip, feature phones.
  • I read the entire artice and your point is valid and not wrong about the iPhone SE.  Microsoft might well embrace larger devices (for now) and foreseable future.  But, like everything else what was once old becomes new again and in fashion.  There will be a wave of larger phones then after a few years have passed the new thing will be smaller phones.  As for me. I don't like large phones.  4.5 is the best size for me.  And yes I have an iPhone 6S and a Lumia 830.  I prefer the size of my Lumia 810 better.  My wife refuses to have anything bigger than 4.0 in size.  Not everyone cares about reading content on their phones.  For some it's just a quick look to get some current information and move on.  And when Continuum picks up steam hopefully there will be all sizes of phones that will have this feature.  One size should not fit all.   
  • @Whodaboss; That is what the OEM partners will provide especially those who don't need certain feautres but want more of a phone. Micorsoft has a large base of partners which negate the need to be in the hardware business of which if they want limited range of hardware like the Surface devices they can just contract out and sell in their store.
  • @calbro; you miss the point. "I" want all the features of of the 950 (or HP Elite x3) but I want it in a 4.5" size, max. And I'm hopeful that now with Continuum that might happen as there is no reason for a massive phone. When you need to go big you just connect to a big display/TV.
  • @RSB54; precisely.  I have nothing against those who want a larger phone.  If they see benefit in it that's great.  But a midsize device of 4.5 is perfect for me too.  I would love for a Surface device in that size but I'll buy one from any OEM as long it's has "flagship" status or at least quality well built mid-range internals.
  • First sales numbers show the lowest iphone start ever. Think about it. Perhaps they are just trying to create demand for a small phone. 
  • Sales lowest... hmm.  It's about options.  And the SE is an option for those who like iPhones.  Plus, the SE wasn't released in Sept/Oct like their previous devices.  Most people are on the "new" iphone cycle.  This wasn't a normal cycle for release.  But then again, I really don't care about the iPhones and/or their sales.  But what I want is a WP "flagship" device at least 4.0 - 4.5 in size.  Not some undersized tablet pretending to be a phone.
  • You've read the article yet? It's pointless to make a comment that's so out of context.
  • @jezza thanks for your zeal in wanting to participate in the discussion and for your candor in acknowledging that you didn't read the whole article.
    Just a tip. I find the wisest course of action to be to "hear a matter, before answering a matter." Simply put, it's better to take advantage of an opportunity to have read and fully grasped the content BEFORE providing a response to the content.
    Doing so puts you in a position to offer really substantial contributions to the discussion whether your position is "for" or "against" what's presented. Sadly I've seen many responses to articles where the commenter did not read the piece. What this does is place this commenters response in a very visible position where thier lack of understanding, due to not reading, was "put on blast" as they say, by thier own hand in an attempt to be snarky or witty. Of course due to thier lack of knowledge of the content they ignored, thier attempts at snark or wit failed as the main thing that stands out to those who read the content is the glaring evidence that that commenter did not read. Thier attempts to shine in the comments section were outshined by their clear lack of knowledge of the content. I believe the pseudo-anonymity of these comment sections emboldens people to say some things even if comments will cause them to be seen in a negative light. Again thank you for your candor. And I wouldn't want your commentary to be associated with the type of unproductive commentary as described above. So please do read the piece in its entirety and then jump right back in!:-) Thanks again.
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • No worries Jason. I do intend to read the whole article and digest it all, as I have all your other articles, however my insight was more into the observation over the title. I'm curious over the context and reasoning behind it, so I do look forward to reading it all in.
  • @Jezza sounds great and thank you for all of your past, present and I anticipate future support!:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Nice Sunday read, but smart phones cannot be dead...
  • No, they just got smarter and became pocket computers.
  • Another new shift in their roadmap, I won't be surprised if they won't support the lumia 950 and 950xl because if phones in the future will be tablets, whats the need for continnum. I will no further invest in a platform that it doesen't even know how to continue with his legacy devices. I will wait until my curent phone will die and then switch platform. Tired of people telling that you should wait, the future will be brighter and how pigs will fly with red boots on their feet.
    The future is today and now, the act before the word, and IMO Windows 10 (the mobile part) is a dead zombie that is rebooted every 3 years. Whats next? Well the transition to intel chips, so bye bye arm. Goodbye support to arm, and die hard windows fans will buy the next devices just to continue using their phones and hope to a better future. I will stop here and wait because even Microsoft doesn't care about his mobile platform. Posted from WC for W10 running on my 930.
  • Nice trolling. .. or is it ignorance?
    "Well the transition to intel chips, so bye bye arm."
    April fooled all year round you are,
    young Sith padawan...
  • I don't think he's trolling at all !
    He's p***ed because he has been let down time and again, and that part is 100% accurate, he's had enough and thrown in the towel.
    Personally, I've had every iteration of WP, Zune, HD DVD players galore, Surface RT, an X One with dubious support now, and the latest a NOS Nokia 925 that isn't upgradeable after being told it was.
    I'm not as fired up as him and will hang in with WP, but the facts are MS have let down a legion of fans time and again, can't shoot someone for losing the plot now.
    They could quite possibly kick WP to the curb in the next few years if things don't pan out, they've done it many times before, just focus on the other systems.
  • I have never went so serious about a topic on the internet. This afects me directly so thats why i'm not joking.
  • I agree...he is frustrated. I'm frustrated. I left the WP platform after Verizon wasn't getting the 950xl and what I perceived to be a slow decline with Windows Phone. I was a Windows Mobile, Zune, original Surface RT owner and have just grown tired of the entire "wait and see" thing. Windows is my primary PC OS for sure and I still have an XBOX but everything else, I've become platform agnostic. Android, Amazon, PLEX, etc. 
  • At this point anything can happen, but more importantly anything can happen in a bad way. Microsoft proved us time and time again that it was so. Windows Mobile 6.5 transition to windows phone 7, windows phone 7.8 transition to Windows Phone 8 and now the transition from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile. If I have to change my phone every 3 years well why bother buying a flagship? Just buy the cheapest and renew when they desire to switch again.
  • Couldn't disagree more particularly on the Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Well if you think the future is now, then why not enjoy your Lumia 950 today? Why worry about the future future?
  • I will tell you why. Because I will be spending 500$ on a phone that maybe will be killed in two years or so, or the app support for it will end. That doesn't happen to the competition. That is what makes my blood to boil.
  • Good read but I have to disagree with it. Smartphones aren't going anywhere imo. Posted via the Windows Central App for Symbian
  • Then you're too down the stream to know what's beyond the mountain.
  • Lol, the mountain IS android sadly
  • @Thanks Islesfan51 Clearly the premise of the piece is that smartphones have ALREADY gone in that the devices we use are so far evolved from the idea of a "phone" that association of these devices with the word "phone" may no longer be accurate. These 5-6" slate, touch screen personal computing devices are, as the article posits more of a mini-tablet. The piece then proceeds to argue the next step in personal computing beyond the "mini-tablets" we carry as ultra-mobile PCs. One line I write actually conveys that I concede that the shift won't complete tomorrow, but I contend that the foundation is being laid today. So in that you disagree that smartphones are not going anywhere, that's fine. But I think they've already gone in way of evolution. :-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • The definition of "phone" will change and evolve as time goes on. I do not see a new term being invented for the devices we now call phones.
  • Oh no, here we go again... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • We usually say the same about your comments in Slack ;)
  • I'm sure you can come up with something better than that. (ps - Kinda worrisome that you have nothing better to talk about, Dan ;P) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's more strange that you didn't drag Nokia's or Microsoft's name in your comment.
  • Oh god don't mention Nokia. We don't want him/she/it writing articles about them ruling the world again with Nokiadroid... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Ha-ha Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (Nexus 5x)
  • He's trying to be nice
  • It looks like you couldn't come up with anything better than that, guy that doesn't understand the meaning of words.
  • Don't read the article then
  • I want a small sized tablet, surface style no compromises, but I will also have a separate phone as well. So for me it will always be a tablet and a phone and an actual PC.
  • Agreed. I need a pc for work. I like having a tablet for note taking. I need a phone. I need separate devices. I know the surface tablet is supposed to dispel the need for a laptop, but I need the screen and peripherals
  • But with surface none is making you not have peripherals! Though you get all the funtionalities!
  • What?
  • Just get the screen and peripherals, the point is that the surface is supposed to be the "brains" the, computer, so to speak.
  • What I actually want is a 4.5 inch pocketable phone with a 6 inch screen which unfolds to a 13 inch tablet/laptop combo when needed. THIS is real science fiction but if anyone happens to make it happen, they'll get rich quickly.
  • Don't forget the one-month battery life.
  • Agreed, same for me.
    Continuum will be great but not for the masses unfortunately.
  • Wait. Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but first you were saying windows phone isn't dead, but now your saying smartphones are dead?
  • Oh ok nvm
  • Windows Phone isn't dead, smart phones are dead. Sub 512 MB phones were smartphones (ahem, no w10m fo 'em). What's left out? Phablets, i.e. 5-6 incher pocket tearing phones. (metaphorically and literally).
  • I have a dead man walking 1 Gb 925 that begs to differ
  • I feel you, I got the 930 but Windows 10 in it runs like s**t and i have 2 gb. Where is the smooth windows phone that runned on low hardware?
  • The world is following Microsoft, if they stop making Mobiles people will start using small tablets.
  • The rest of the world was using smartphones way before 2007
  • First off, Jason's editorials are great. Secondly, for sometime now I've said what the title of this article says, and I'm generally responded to by others that I'm an idiot. Nice to see someone else shares my opinion.
  • I don't think you're an idiot. I like opinions, not immature blurbs
  • @missionsparta thanks. Glad you see what seems to be the current and next shift in personal computing:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Smartphones will die, for sure.. maybe after five years, but they are definitely not dead now. True there's hardly any innovation in the space right now, since we're getting just increments in the name of upgrades. But people still use them and it will be quite some time before smartphones truly go away. Posted from Windows Central app, Built for Windows 10.
  • You read the article, right?
  • He didn't need to, the title says it all.
  • You obviously didn't read the article either because the title doesn't "say it all".
  • Opinions are so much more fun this way....
  • There was an article :/s
  • @joel please read the article. Sadly it seems you missed the core of what's being communicated. If by chance you are responding ONLY to the title please don't overlook the "this is the age of the mini-tablet" portion. Again, if you are simply responding to the title, that second half of the title may at the very least raise an eyebrow to cause you to question, hmmmm what mini-tablets, particularly since the "official" mini-tablet market segment is on a decline. And 7 to 8-inch tablets which belong to that segment are not being made in as many numbers as in previous years. So what's left that exists in broad enough numbers and has the form, computational power and usage scenarios as mini-tablets...? I'll leave off there and invite you to read or re-read the article so that you can see where it seems you comment kind of missed the premise of the piece. -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • But Jason, you're missing the point that phablets have been eating into mini tablet sales. People who get a phablet don't see the need to get a separate tablet. The fact is a person owning a phablet and a Windows 10 laptop basically has everything they would need. Why would I waste my time with Continuum when the above two devices would do everything better than a Windows 10 Mobile with Continuum? 
  • This comment is ridiculous, I wish there was a -100 button, you would definitely get it Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • He is absolutely right though. Obviously you don't have an argument to make since your comment contains no substance. The 5-6" form factor has proven to be very compelling. People love these "phones", they are not going anywhere for quite some time. Microsoft's issue is they have not created a compelling platform for the form factor. They keep sticking to the same failed UX. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @pericle Actually that IS the point smartphones(phablets) have BECOME mini-tablet computers. That foundation was laid in the piece showing that the idea of the smart"phone" has evolved to such a point affiliation with the word "phone" should likely be discarded for the reasons stated in the piece.(Please revisit the piece if you don't recall.)
    As the demand for greater personal computing activity is expected and pushed to these mini-tablets, I then posited that this phase in the evolution of personal computing is leading to the all-I one device. Please note that I explicitly stated in the piece that that transition won't compete tomorrow but I contend that the foundation is being laid today. It seems that some readers are getting hung up on part of the title: "Smartphone are dead" and not catching the scope of what the piece posits with the second half of the title "This is the age of the mini-tablet" The question that should be raised in a readers mind is "What mini-tablet?" They should be asking "When I'm in public, at work, in school, at home etc, if this is the age of the mini-tablet why is it that I only see people pecking away on thier 5-6 inch touch screen slate styled smartp.....Ooohhhhhhhhh" Then as you read the content you see the case made for the title. :-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • The ideal device is something that fits in the pocket >>comfortably<< and runs full desktop apps or better yet desktop apps can be cut by the user in terms of the features they actually use (5% in the case of most people for MS Word) and then they can add that chopped up tailored version to thier mobile device.  I want the X3 as its the latest and greatest...except one thing...size.  Ergonomics win at the end of the day, theres no way round it...I dont like Apple products anymore and ive spoken to quite a few people who say they are going to get the Apple SE because of the size.  Hands and pockets dictate the device we have.  Phablets are great for screen size real estate but you cant shove it in a pocket comfortably.  As for Contnuum, I like to live in the real world of today, and today it is completely (pretty much) useless in the business world.  I fear it may end up the way of google glass in that the real world case uses are just not there..Meanwhile..Apple is making a car, what are MS doing?
  • Hololens! Simple, and you say "I like to live in the real world of today", and end up saying "Apple is making a car​" which being selfdriven won't be out for a minimun of 5 years? Totally bias and in a distortion iField as usual!
  • Lol. I own the largest Hololens LinkedIn group and have had conversations with MS who are a client of mine. I love Hololens, remember the noise of Google glass? However MS have swayed a lotin the business world, again tho. Read Daniels hands on review....its entirely situational and application can't live your life wearing it. Self drive cars are the future, I've ordered a Model 3 and will probably get Model S in a few months. Pick ANY metric you like and Apple is dominating MS in the mobilespace...also not sure what you mean by "as usual" as I'm pro MS hence why I say they need to think bigger than they are...perhaps you can't see it.
  • For Continuum to success in the business world it need to support legacy program, many mid size company have their inhouse program that they depends on(CRM, Inventory, ordering..etc) and other 3rd party program like Novell and Lotusnote.  Does W10M even support remote gateway(Sorry I really don't remember)?  Dual screen? The next update is really important for MS and continuum, if the next continuum(dock to PC) worked well that maybe a game changer.  And no smartphones are far from dead.  
  • HP's Elite X3 will virtualize legacy program​s! So yes, it looks to have what it takes to succed in the business world!
  • Awesome and well written article, I could not agree more with the terminology shift. In my case, when I moved to my 950XL, I have so much available WiFi I'm not running a SIM/Carrier based data or phone line through it at all. Instead in more mimics my "PC" at my desk and I use my VOIP # through the device. My VOIP line has better functionality, it's not locked to my so called "Phone", but with the right setup it still receives calls at least as reliably as my previous carriers. I almost never use my 950XL as a "Phone", it's not remotely its primary purpose anymore.
  • Thanks Scott:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Hmmmmmm. My 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 disagrees.
  • Hmmmmm, your Galaxy S7 not only agrees but it is prove to this articles points!
  • Agree, plus Google will release the one OS for devices this year..... and bet they copy Continuum too. So the S7 is current (actually it's a stunning phone) but once Google and Microsoft advance the one OS and the "phones" become even more powerful....... where will it lead. Jason has given his view and at the same time says nothing is set in concrete.
  • I don't think it'll be easy for google to copy otherwise they would have released this feature long ago to attempt conquering the desktop space Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • Continuum like functionality was available on Android years ago through some Motorola phones. Ubuntu also tried something similar. Continuum isn't new or unique. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Continuum is not original perhaps, but it is unique! The main and great difference is that it makes de OS and Apps adapt to different screen size devices. This is what Motorola and Ubuntu failed to acomplish, they just streched the smaller apps to bigger size tablet screens!
  • Android also allows developers the ability for apps to scale according to screen size. That was added years ago. I do not think an all-in-one device is the future though. It will be easy for Google to implement if I am wrong and they will already have the apps and scaling needed for that world. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No it does not, Android does not scale correctly bigger than tablet size screen, I want to see its app menus reorganize accordingly to a 45" TV, heck it does not do that of course. You have not even use Continuum at all for the looks of it, if you open Excel in full screen on a PC for example, the ribbon icons get some text description next to them, if you arrange a smaller window then the ribbon icons' text kind of desapears or those icons get grouped with a small arrow. This means excel is adapting to screen sizes, its not just being streched because the working area stays practically the same size for you to work. Now with Continuum this efect is taken to a higher level, all Universal apps adapt their menus, icons, etc. similar to responsive programming, and it goes from small samtphone screens all the way to whatever monitor size you plug in! So no, Android does not do that, and the Motorola Atrix never did it really!
  • There hasn't been a need for Android apps to scale larger than a tablet, but the functionality is there if that time comes. Again, this isn't something special that Microsoft is doing. Scaling apps have been on Android since like 2010. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I disagree, but cool you're reading other stuff than just Android.
  • Thanks for the comment Phil. But the premise of the piece pretty much centers around a platform agnostic perspective that our iPhones, Android devices and Windows Phones have evolved to such a point that they are indeed mini-personal computers. And that the evolution to that point is so complete an industry-wide shift in how we perceive and acknowledge these devices linguistically should likely relinquish the archaic affiliation with the word phone. Particularly given that personal computing activities rank above the sixth ranked phone calling on these devices and the direction toward increased and all in one personal computing devices on a unified platform (even possibly eventually in Google's ecosystem) is immanent. Given that I think your awesome Galaxy S7 just might agree!:-)
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Great article... I agree. The terminology is old and archaic for what we have... More than phone or smartphone, they should be called "PC"... Personal computer. Which why I hate when people say PC or Mac... It is really Microsoft or Apple, Windows or OSX, etc. Everything is a PC, a personal computer. A lot of people are not reading the article and are upset by the title. Most people cannot think further than smart phone because... I don't know, maybe they are young... I'm only 39, but I remember most of what you are discussing about the past. Great throw back to Penny's book computer... Brains communicating using his dog collar. All that we do with our "PC" was only imaginable to me, even then I did not see all that we have today. I never would have called what we have a smartphone. I always saw it as a computer. To me, the very "stupid" term "smartphone" should die a quick death. I hate smartphone as much as I do hearing people limit the acronym "PC" to Windows... Everything is a PC in my view. The term smartphone was introduced because the device that was used to take us to where we are was a mobile phone. So many time people tried to take a computer "mobile" but it was "too much" and too big to be a computer and communication device... The small phone started "too small" and not enough, lol. Smartphone because it started to have features beyond making a call... Features liken to a computer. Mobile devices today are PCs... Microsoft and continuum is the future. Technology is finally here to where we can have one device and it be many. I have carrying a device for this and a device for that. Some people are mentioning apples smaller phone... Ok, so what. A smaller or larger screen means nothing. The term tablet means nothing to me. Another dumb term to make a "PC" make sense to people. No matter the size or shape, it is a personal computer... Why limit to this one can make a call or not. Continuum and the focus on the internet of things (IoT) is why I thing Microsoft is leading. So many people are more concerned with now and cannot see beyond that. Screw todays trends... It's all about tomorrow. Microsoft led with the modern flat design... I will stop before I digress too far. Great article. Jason, I wish your articles were on a broader platform.... Your thinking and rational writing should be seen by the majority. Most people are so stuck in their "camp" and cannot see beyond. Keep it up. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Totally agreed Jaime Astin, ​finally someone that sees every single device as a PC! I would push it even to SmarTVs, with OS they became Personal Computers, though one could argue they are not personal because a lot of people uses them...
  • Calling a mac a PC is just an insult (for the PC)
  • The really short version: Smartphone is a weird way to refer to this device in my pocket
  • In the future I would hope benefits of the many will outtakes benefits of the few .. I doubt a 2 into 1 will do that . ​
  • 3 in 1s!
  • I like it - Smartphone, Laptop, Desktop as HP have just done
  • Unfortunately, the PC is here to stay. While smartphones look like supercomputers when compared to tech from the 70s, they are still unpowered when compared to full fledged desktop pc. With that said, that same desktop must look like a alien supercomputer compared to the same tech from the 70s. Smartphone screens are just to small. Multitasking is still limited, even if you remote to a supercomputer, you still have limited real-estate to work on. Even when and if the time comes that you can put a cpu that equals a desktop, you will still have to "hook" it into some external equipment, like we do continuum today. Basically turning it into a mobile pc. However once disconnected, you lose that second node. So basically what I'm saying is that stationary device provides simply too many benefits and flexibility to be replaced by one device.there are simply too many use cases and requirements for so many people.
  • Agree this would be true for gamers. But, for the general public and also non high end business use I could see the next generation of phones being powerful enough to connect to TV’s and large screens as well as be a “smartphone”. PC sales are decreasing and tablet sales are increasing. So I would argue this will continue with the introduction of more powerful phones with Google and Microsoft offering the one OS.
  • Tablet sales aren't increasing Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • They may not be increasing for Apple but they are for Microsoft. Surface sales continue to rise.
  • The PC is here to stay, but it will be in a pocketable form factor.
  • "Even the phone, I just don't want to build another phone, a copycat phone operating system, even…when I think about our Windows Phone, I want it to stand for something like Continuum. When I say, wow, that's an interesting approach where you can have a phone and that same phone, because of our universal platform with Continuum, and can, in fact, be a desktop. That is not something any other phone operating system or device can do. And that's what I want our devices and device innovation to stand for." If they don't want to create a copycat OS, does that mean that W10m as we know it is going to be completely changed for the Surface Phone? Doesn't sound promising for current devices getting updates at that point. Current or near future phone sales also don't bode well with UWP apps being developed. Android is currently compatible with external displays, keyboards and mice. It has exactly the same functionality of Continuum but without the app gap. If the desktop mode currently in the preview is released with the next version of Android, then Google will quickly be leading in this field. It will be able to run multiple windowed apps and have a better platform for its Chrome devices. Microsoft just is too far behind even if the next big thing is all-in-one devices as they really aren't even ahead in this market. I question if that really is the way the market is going anyways. I don't see any signs that it is. Your phone is never going to replace your laptop. Hardware is cheap and the cloud makes your data ubiquitous. Why carry around a lapdock that requires your phone to operate? There really is no point. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What % of worldwide PC sales does Chrome have? Android and Apple have over 1 billion active devices and Microsoft has ubiquitous software on all OS's as well as the majority OS on PC's. They also have probably over a billion devices run by Windows such as coffee machines to industrial machines. How will Chrome suddenly or Android suddenly be leading this field. Software and the Cloud are massively profitable markets for now and the future. How much profit does Google make from software and the Cloud? As the embedded video show, the phone can connect without docks and leads and as they become more powerful this will become faster too. There is no point in your comment but there certainly is a point in the one OS...... even Google are copying Microsoft's direction with their one OS later this year.
  • Android currently outsells Windows 3:1 or more. They are in a much better position to dominate the all-in-one market, if that does become a thing. They already have all the developers and current apps will work just fine. They have been doing the one OS thing for a couple years now. Android, Android Wear, Android TV and Android Auto. If they release Android PC this summer, they will have it all on the same OS. I doubt it really even matters. It will be nice though if Chromebooks will be able to install Android apps. I still do not think the one device thing will be big. Again, you are not going to carry around a laptop shell and have to plug your phone into it for it to be operational. That is pointless. Microsoft is just grasping at straws. I think Apple has the right strategy here. A mobile operating system that integrates nicely with a desktop operating system. They do not have to make concessions with either one in order to make it something it is not. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • PC internet usage is: Microsoft 55%
    Apple 15%
    Android 25% I would guess that for Android to lead Microsoft here would be a phenomenal success - one that will not happen, I could not even guess where these 3 companies will be market share wise in 5-10 years. But I see the current strengths each have at the moment. But with a paradigm shift all that could change surprisingly. I see Continuum as a bigger than expected success once Smart Bots reach their full potential. Then there is always the public who may not choose the products or services that Tech Leaders expect. Hey, I've been WP since the HTC HD 7 with WinMo and have decided this week to get an iPhone 6S next month when my contract is up. Unexpected are we consumers.
  • I agree, and while smartphones might be a 2007 onwards thing for some, they existed and were very much in use for 10 years before that, I do not see a similar trend for convergence. You also bring a valid point with the lapdock, it is further validated by cost-performance -ratio.
  • I agree with Jason. Things will change. I'm waiting for a Microsoft band with sim card and wireless earbud. I'll use Cortana via earbud for calls, texts, emails, news, weather, maps, etc., and use the tablet for everything else. It will be connected to my 5-7" Microsoft tablet (like the Stream 7) by my Microsoft account. then connect my tablet to my big screen for movies, games, Netflix, and...oh, of course, work! ;)
  • Yo
  • Today's phones are still very much a smartphones to me, though there is a trend more phones are becoming pc smartphones.
  • I fall into the 'it's just symantics' group. I don't think smartphones are dead, I think our understanding of what they are, is evolving. The term tablet evokes something different for me, and mostly it is a size distinction. same goes for PC or laptop. Any of these devices could have similar functionality these days, including being used as a 'phone', which can also be interpreted in more ways than the traditional.  I don't understand why we need to come up with another name for what we generally understand, just because it used to mean something different. What should we call it? Make up a new term? Tablets don't typically make phone calls, so we would have to augment that term for those that do, wouldn' t we? Taphone, Phablet? The latter is already in use for the larger versions. Maybe Phablette, but then it is only recognizable in print. I think Smartphone is still descriptive of a "a mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system which combines features of a personal computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use." ​ Maybe change the third word to 'device', but there's no need to rename what we all know to be a Smartphone, even though we rarely 'dial' one anymore.
  • *semantics
  • Just to point out that sheephones rules in usa only, the rest of the world is dominated by Android (over 80% of the market)
  • Correct. There shoud be an Sx up there next to the Lumia 950.
  • Whoa! With the Surface phone Microsoft is light year ahead of it rival. Good stuff.
  • Could phones more accurately be described, then, as "communicators" as in Star Trek. They communicate. Communicate with us, communicate with each other, communicate with other devices. Sorry I didn't have the time right now to read the whole article after the initial few paragraphs, but to be honest, I've been thinking these devices, one of which I'm using to communicate with you all now should be called such for some time.
  • You forget that the communicators are those little things pinned to the chest? It has a very limited application, namely voice calls, and you basically just tap it and then talk. So Star Trek's communicators are basically just tiny walkie talkies :) I think the point is that we're not just using the devices for communication or any one thing any more, really. They are simply one of or computing devices that can be used for any number of applications (pun intended).
  • I'm not talking about that era of Star Trek communicators. I'm talking about those seen in TOS, ENT and more recently the prequel movies. They were capable of other communications. Plus, I was talking about the word we should use for our devices, not necessarily drawing an exact parallel to them.
  • probably contrary to most people, i havent made a "cellular" phone call, or even an sms for that matter, for roughly a year, whatsapp takes care of these two once phone intrinsic tasks for me, and for gratis to boot!
  • Stop...let this be the first and last article of this series...
  • Stop ....let this be yours first & last comment on this series!!
  • BURN!! haha nice one:P
  • Great article! Hopefully some of the Windows "Phone" complainers will read this and finally understand what Microsoft is doing. Yes, they have pretty much conceded the phone battle and are moving on. Does not mean they have given up on the Mobile war. It will be interesting to see what Intel and Qualcomm have me cooking in the research labs yo further push the envelope of actually creating a usable 3in 1. Essentially a Surface with voice capability.
    Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Hopefully someone from Microsoft will read it and finally understand what we suspect Microsoft is doing. Microsoft could sustantially improve their comunication. "But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the 
     local planning office for the last nine months."                        "Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round
                              to see them, yesterday afternoon.
                             You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention
                              to them, had you?
                             I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything." "But the plans were on display …"                          "On display? I eventually had to go down
                             to the cellar to find them." "That’s the display department."                            "With a flashlight." "Ah, well the lights had probably gone."                            "So had the stairs." "But look, you found the notice didn’t you?"                            "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on
                               display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet 
                              stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the
                              door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’." Dougals Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • I just spent the last 5 mins looking in awe at the iPhone 6s and Lumia 950 spec comparison. :O And the iPhone is more expensive! How do people keep buying the iPhone when there are clearly better phones out there for less money? I don't understand Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • You're right you don't understand lol
  • Lol :)
  • In the question was the answer I did
  • Mostly the app environment; but also Apple's control over updates, the precision build quality (even if fragile in some respects). But when talking money, the Apple products have the best resale values. I thought the Lumia 2520 performed quite well, but when it came time to sell it...I guess a lot of the depreciation was due to the fact Windows RT was seen as a dead end. Lumias continue to impress with their cameras; but performance-wise, based on the Youtube comparison below the 950 and the iPhone 6s trade back and forth. iPhone came out on top a bit more often. Not always easy to compare because the same app can act differently on each platform.
  • Superior marketing.
    Monetizing charisma of S. Jobs.
    Trademark war won.
    PS: it's beautiful = design!
  • True, the marketing. For a while now, Apple has been the "coolest person in the mobile room". I don't see a mass migration away from Apple, but other manufacturers are making gains. I read that this year, Samsung had it's most profitable1st quarter since the S4. It wasn't all smartphones but S7 sales were a factor...  
  • While I agree on the first three pionts, I disagree on the last. Personnally, I find the iPhone and the S6/7 garish and unappealing. Give me a classy, unasuuming black phone that dosn't scream "look at me."
  • There is more to a phone's pricing than specs. That said, 6S has more computing power than either 950, or 950XL
  • Smartphones are alive and well. Only Windows phones are dead.
  • Windows phone is dead but windows 10 (mobile) is alive & well. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "well" ? LMAO
  • I am an IT professional but the terms phone and smartphone are here to stay. I even spoke with my friend earlier and told him I decided not to get a new phone at this time. He knew exactly what I meant and that is all that matters. He did not think the thing with a rotary dial or touchpad numbers at all. Eventually, the future must become the present or you will make no money doing so. (Ask AMD about that one.) Portable computing is neat but, not anywhere near useful yet in it's present version. By the time they do become useful, Google, Apple or some other such company may end up with a much better take on it but, only time will tell. Besides, what good is a phone such as the 950 or XL if you cannot use it on the service you have? (No, I am not going to eat the $270 ETF, thanks anyways.)
  • 5G is being trialled and GB's of data can be download in seconds. Current phones can run W10 on a large screen wirelessly. Phones have the potential to take 2TB SD cards. Smart Bots are already on the way so a lot of what we do will be done in a completely different and more intelligent way. Once these come together in one "smartphone" device will we still say phone?
  • It's useful all right. Lots of apps coming out for stuff you can only do with your phone. Consumers realize this, that's why they keep buying them. On the other hand, they would keep their computers for 5-6 years and hardly ever use them.
  • This article reminds me of the keynote of the original iPhone where Steve jobs was talking about a full computer running OS x in your pocket.
  • Right, and at this piont who is closer to accomplishing that? Apple has pretty much hooked thier future to iOS while Microsoft is betting on creating a world where mobile and desktop merge into one.  
  • Consider this, with these "smartphones" being able to carry 2tb micro sd cards & the ram powering these things leaning on 8 gb, & bridges like project centennial bringing legacy x86 apps to the phone combining all of this with continuum and the so called new batteries that charge in seconds and last for months = no more computers, unless u just want one. You could literally just buy a dream monitor and keyboard without the pc. At the end of the day I believe a lot of companies would jump onboard that bandwagon because it saves money. and isn't that what its all about in this global economy?
  • All for the low, low price of $2500. :D ;) (And that is for just the base model with no keyboard, mouse, monitor or 2tb micro sd card.)
  • Price is low due lacking Intel chips. Other will be having 5G when Nadella-phone still struggles to work reliably on 4G.
  • Since nokia gone smartphone of windows phone are dead stop waiting. And go to android. Every apps are ready and everyday. Support bye bye windows phone thanks to nokia camera and welcome galaxy s7 edge can't. Wait to get it
  • Last was ipad revolution split screen like windows 8.1 and yet windows 10 tablet mode still can do. Next coming iPhone 7 feature, iContinuum. Every Apple fans are still blind. From a desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, and tablet+ stylus + cover keyboard(2 in 1): Surface pro, these all run real Windows and Android simulator applications(64bits and 32bits), Flash capable browser, all sdk.
    Even Lumia phone("build for windows 10" app) are now slowly getting to that stage. Sooner or later, Apple and Android are only a minized Linux if you don't know. Lumia will soon be a another windows 10. iOS and Android fans, be prepare... I'm running Minecraft 10 beta. Minecraft is created with java anyway...
  • To be honest almost all you listed above are Unix.... That being said smartphones will always be there just like personal computers .... Individuals don't need to own a laptop now that everything is "app" based so the device that will prevail is the one giving phone and computer to individuals Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • To be really honest, Steve job convert Linux to UNIX. Google convert Linux to limited open source "UNIX". For Android, therefore you can have a windows and windows phone(under developing) version Android legal simulator. Dos is an OS call 86-DOS bought by Microsoft and modified for IBM PC contact which IBM will not accept freeware OS like Linux which was created by Berkley university compatible with UNIX by at&t bell labs.
  • First post so go easy on me folks! I cannot see the PC being replaced entirely by small pocket sized devices, not in the corporate world anyway. The requirement for specialised software applications for accounting, cad etc not to mention large multi screen desktops that some of us like rule out continuum equipped devices as an effective replacement. But I agree with the crux of Jasons piece. The term smartphone implies that these devices are primarily phones with some computing functions bolted on but they are so much more than that now. The actual phone side of these devices has a far less significant role than it used to as well. And I think many consumers with no need of a corporate set up would find that their mobile PC with phone function and the ability to attach it to a screen and keyboard for desktop applications when necessary is perfectly adequate. In time the smartphone as a standalone platform will probably fade into obscurity.  
  • I just hope they wont call it Surface Phone then. I hope for something really amazing and great.
  • I think it is too early for something to replace the modern smartphone. It will be 10+ years before that occurs. In the meantime we will have smartphones for normal day to day stuff and laptops/desktops for heavier lifting. If Microsoft releases the Surface phone and the only selling point is Continuum, then it will flop just like all its predecessors. Microsoft knows this. Face it, they are not going to have something evolutionary to release next year and sales of Windows Mobile will be so low, they will likely kill the Surface phone and Windows Mobile with it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Really great article, I enjoyed it very much. I am already considering my Microsoft Lumia 950 XL my pocket PC instead of smartphone.
    btw y there isn't information about the weight of Microsoft Lumia 950, it is 150g.
  • And I am very happy because Microsoft is the first to understand those changes, smartphones definitely won't replace PCs, but people are more and more mobile every day.
  • @Mateo thank you:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Smart phones will never die never ask me why Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Call it whatever name you want, phone, tablet, etc.. Future is 5-6 inches and does everything a phone and computer does.
  • As usual, an excellent, thought-provoking article, Jason! I'm not going to nit-pick whether smart phones are currently dead, or not.  I'm just really looking forward to the future of said "phone"!  I wish it was next year already, and I'm waiting for my new "whatever" on the UPS truck ... even though it makes me another year older!  Can't get here soon enough!
  • @NMCythia thank you:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Good, 'the smartphone is dead', now you are leading your readers into the future. A lot better than the defensive Windows Phone / Mobile isn't dead. It is a device centered story still. The paradigm shift is not really in the device, it is in the key role taken by an ecosystem of powerful cloud services - Microsoft Azure - and an all encompassing development platform - Microsoft Visual Studio including Xamarin -. Devices in whatever form are just there to put these cloud services at out fingertips. Continuum is merely a technology helping us to shift form factors.  Another paradigm shift is from app stores with apps to a conversation framework with bots. Microsoft has started its catch-up here, as Facebook and others are currently leading this innovation. Again, an all encompassing development and runtime ecosystem is key here - Microsoft Visual Studio with Xamarin and Azure. It is what will allow Microsoft to be a top notch player in mobile. This platform is where their earnings will be, businesses of all sorts will pay to use it to have conversations with their customers and clients.    
  • Oh, no, not the next book by Jason Ward. Learn to get to the point, man ...
  • I was very impressed with Continuum when it was first launched in 2014. I naively thought that it would arrive on all WP 8.1 devices along with W10M. But guess what none of those things happened. Currently, only Lumia 950/950XL supports this feature. The problem with Microsoft is that they announce new features but those features take way too much time to arrive on too less number of devices. That's not how you can start a revolution. I mean Apple did not showcased a prototype model of iPhone in 2007 and then waited for years to actually roll them out to people. They made things happen in 2007 itself. That's how you start a revolution.
  • Meanings of words change with time. The meaning of 'phone' has changed. Why abandon a word that everyone uses?
  • In a Homer Simpson voice: "ahhh... A weighted base with a rotary dial.. Mmmmmm!" I remember it too. My first phone number was only five digits long :)
  • TVs are dead too. Now they're " the wall pancake" . A new era for pancakes
  • I should be a tech blogger as I've been saying this since it became obvious that the masses, sadly, weren't interested in MS's take on the modern smartphone. MS was always playing second fiddle rather than skating to where the puck will be. Nadella gets it though, he's the right man at the right time. He understands that MS needs to show the world a new paradigm of connected devices, not just MS waving it's hands shouting, me too! We all know Continuum is a small, shimmering light at the end of a dark tunnel. As we approach it, it will get brighter and brighter, leading the way out. Continuum in 2017 will blow you away, as will the hardware that enables it. Stay tuned.
  • No it won't. There is no reason for it. Even a dirt cheap desktop will easily outperform a smartphone, will run x86 apps and does not require your phone to be operational. You can even buy a thumb stick sized PC for $100. Makes Continuum seem silly. When you think about laptops, it makes even less sense. Are going to carry around a hollow laptop shell that requires your phone to be plugged in or else it is a door stop? What would the point be? Continuum is a boondoggle. The use case is nearly nonexistant. It certainly isn't the future of computers. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • New Surface will be 0 in 1 device. 2 in 1 is so old school.
  • My point exactly! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Applauds for Jason's writing skills. It's a treat to read his write-ups for someone like me who love reading.
    Now, to the topic.. Phones are not going to die. Phone network companies from all over the world will make sure of that. Also there are millions of people who use phones which don't have internet facility. So that concept of mobile phone is not going to change for 5-7 years at least. Google will only able to over take Microsoft in PC-laptop OS user percentage if W10 PC version is a screw up. Which I think it is not. Also Microsoft is super kind enough to do all the help for android phone users. So people will be still using phones and half baked computers. Tablets cannot achieve the power lik