If you are a smartphone user, you might not be aware of the fact that it is one of the most disruptive technologies ever invented. It has disrupted industries and wiped out companies that were not quick to adapt. It has also enriched the lives of billions of people by providing them with instant access to information and services. However, it has also subjected them to increased dangers like fraud and bullying. The question is, why was the first smartphone considered a disruptive technology?
Disruptive innovations are those that initially do not threaten established businesses but gradually nibble away at their market share with lower margin customers. They may even replace existing methods altogether. For instance, the iPod revolutionized music playback devices by combining multiple functions into a single device that was easy to carry around. Apple took advantage of the growing popularity of portable radios and music players by introducing the iPhone, which was a touchscreen-based device that replaced conventional keyboard-centric smartphone designs.
The first mobile phone to embody telephone and PDA features was IBM’s Simon Personal Communicator, which made its debut at COMDEX in 1992. It was an advanced device that included a calculator, simple note pad, and the ability to send email and faxes. It also offered a calendar and a contact list, and could synchronize with PCs to allow users to work on spreadsheets and documents on the go. Today, smartphones are indispensable tools that provide us with unprecedented navigation, accessibility and connectivity. They are loaded with a variety of apps that keep us informed, productive and entertained.