The Move to Fewer Gadgets and More Data

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – The gadget boom of the last decade habitually encouraged individuals to go through daily life moving from using one device to using another: from waking up to the sound of a digital alarm clock, to setting your car GPS to avoid morning traffic on the way to work – or perhaps even reading an e-book on the train – even listening to your MP3 player while checking your business emails. Somewhere along the way, however, what began as a collection of separate devices designed to expedite activity, transformed from being a convenience into creating clutter. Carrying around a camera, MP3 player, smartphone, and GPS device is not something many individuals are now willing to do, despite the fact that they enjoy the conveniences these devices provide.

This infographic reveals a trend in remedying this gadget clutter—namely, the increased use of tablet PCs and smartphones to consolidate multiple gadgets via a variety of apps. The key finding of this Oracle study was that 70% of customers reported their smartphones had indeed replaced other gadgets. It wasn’t only smartphones that were replacing other gadgets, however, but tablet PCs as well. 41% of the customers surveyed planned to buy a tablet, and 16% already had. When you view these results in light of the fact that 47% of customers increased their data usage in 2012, it is evident that certain cumbersome gadgets were being replaced by the downloading and use of apps. Camera, music and GPS apps, for example are now all available on smartphones or tablet PCs, and significantly reduce the bulk of what one needs to carry.

This infographic indicates the all-in-one trend happened sooner than expected. That is, the rates at which gadgets were replaced by apps occurred faster than the customers had predicted themselves. 52% of the survey participants indicated that, by 2015, they believed their mobile device would replace their camera, and 54% believed that by 2015, their mobile device would replace their GPS device and MP3 player. In reality, however, by 2012, 43% of customers already confirmed that their mobile devices had replaced their cameras, while 24% said that their mobile phones had replaced their GPS device – 34% for MP3 players. This reveals that the trajectory of gadget replacement is almost complete for some devices, such as cameras, and already well on their way for others.

While many technical devices will not be replaced by apps anytime soon – like professional cameras or army-grade satellite GPS – most of the simpler products for day-to-day use have already made the switch. It’s interesting to take some time to reflect where you yourself fit in this trend of minimizing gadgets and maximizing apps and data usage.