Mobile phones go scalp hunting: The Red List

26 July 2010
Last week we walked with dinosaurs. We followed phones in their search of the perfect size and shape. We’ll now take another step away from our usual routine and look back at the gadgets that lost or are about to lose in the survival of the fittest. Mobile phones are no longer a commodity – but a necessity...

Sort by:

  • eNVy

I loved this! Such a fresh and interesting read... love when GSMarena post reviews on more then just a certain phone such as a topic like this... another reason why they are they best gsm site in the world.


  • Professzore

After almost 20 years using dedicated GPS devices, PDAs, film and digital cameras and a wristwatch from Switzerland...
-- pager -- AGREE
-- street payphones -- except emergency situations, AGREE
-- fixed landlines -- most of the time, annual fees are way more expensive, so I AGREE
-- PDAs -- 50/50... Current Android phones still don't have enough high-quality business-oriented widgets... WinMo is too old and slow.
-- GPS -- 30/70... Agree for in-town pedestrian usage. On the other hand, DISAGREE due to the extreme battery drain and other disadventages.
-- MP3 -- almost AGREE, meanwhile I'm not satisfied with the music quality of my HTC Touch Pro and HTC Magic. SE were good in the "dumb" category (W-line).
-- Calculators -- AGREE.
-- Alarm Clocks -- AGREE -- haven't used a regular one since 12 years or so.
-- Wristwatches -- almost AGREE. I have a Fortis, and looking forward for a Patek. There is no phone may be used insted of these...
-- Digital cameras -- I never be satisfied with a picture made by a camera-phone. Whatever it was 12 or even more megapixel...
-- Digital gaming consoles -- I play only on my phone or IRL. Never wanted to get a console...

But... What about ebook readers?

  • Aluwani

Even though sales and prices are down, I think point and shoot cameras are still relatively safe. For one, cellphone cameras still don't give you decent lenses. Just a big megapixel sensor. You still hardly get a phone with a camera that has optical zoom. And its not because of the bulk, Sony has a line of super-compact cameras that can achieve optical zoom without that protruding mechanism. I think the manufactures themselves are leaving it out on purpose so that they don't kill the camera market completely. And a camera is a more "shared" device. Daddy would not be so keen to give his camera phone to his kid to snap away, just in case the mistress calls. Cellphones are personal and PRIVATE, so the less personal devices will survive in some form another. Calculators (particularly the big buttoned office ones) cameras and home or office landlines will be just fine, even if they may have to settle on lower unit sales. Ergonomics also play a big part! Desk calculators, cameras, land phones are simply better ergonomically.

  • Anonymous

ipo, 27 Jul 2010Nice article, maybe GSMArena should start a regular section of c... moreyeah that would be nice

  • Anonymous

Nice article. But MP3 players being around since 1979? Tell me that's a typo as the MP3 standard wasn't even drafted until 1991!

  • ukamyu

Nice topic for discussion, but the article is quite boring to read! No zest in the author's pen/keyboard...

  • jjsoviet

Regarding the portable gaming market, I doubt phones would be powerful enough to match the capabilities of something like the PSP or the new Nintendo 3Ds. And phones still don't have enough game library to be even considered by serious gamers coming from the PC and current-gen console market. Will we be seeing Crysis and God of War for the iPhone/iPad? I don't think so.

OnLive would be a viable option, but the reliance of internet connection to be able to stream games as well as the inability to own a physical copy of the software would turn off most gamers anyway.

  • jjsoviet

Xis, 27 Jul 2010Almost all of the comments here disagree with phones replacing/p... moreYeah the N8 might be superior to most basic P&S but here are some problems:

1. It's just one phone out of countless thousands striving for camera supremacy.
2. The possible cost of an N8 would be too high for most prospective consumers.
3. Point and shoot cameras are still getting better, with the addition of SLR-like elements like those found on the Canon S90 and G9.

  • bOa_cOnstrictOr

love your articles..!!!Gsmarena,older and wiser!

  • Alui

You forgot to mention Nokia( and Symbian):).

  • Satheesh

Very nice article...

  • Jorick

Anonymous, 27 Jul 2010I agree that calculators are far from obsolete. Mobile phone cam... moreit's true they might be threatend,
but for good gaming you need good hardware,
and a phone won't beat a a DS or PSP in usability,
there are off course also games which are played better on a phone due to the possibilities it gives, but portable consoles won't get beaten by phones, not in a long shot

  • Thorgar

Richard W, 27 Jul 2010Another item for the list. I can't even remember what they were ... moreThat was the 1G network, here in the Netherlands it was called Kermit.
At that time you could only receive calls at certain points (so called Green points, hence the name Kermit) in a while they upgraded the system to 1.5G so you could initiate a call at those points.

  • Richard W

Another item for the list. I can't even remember what they were called, but don't forget, at least in the UK, the 'mobile phones' that could receive but not initiate calls. This must have been about 1990. Companies were installing substantial networks of building-side transmitters (the signal was not strong), and then the whole idea just vanished.

  • Anonymous

Nice article, thank you, guys!

  • Anonymous

I always used to wear a watch and if going somewhere special i still like to wear one but these days i never do but will admit that i do get a bit fed up of taking my phone out of my pocket to see the time, then it feels as if i may as well have an old pocket watch.

I remember phones being so huge that it was a case with the phone attached, then we went smaller and one handed yet with touch screens we seem to have gone back to using both hands again, prodding at them as if they are some half asleep creature.

Then the personal stereo with its wonderful headphones attached and no load speaker,yet again with the introduction of loudspeakers on phones it seems everyone has to endure everyone else's music as no one seems to have their headsets with them, i've lost track of the last time i had a journey from A-Z without having to hear others music.

The games games machines, something that used to reside in some arcade then the home with the Atari 2600,now all you see is groups almost talking to each other but are too enthralled in the game that looking up to see who is talking to them, they walk along street playing games,bumping into people without even the manners to say 'Sorry'

The pocket diary, something that felt wonderful to own, so personal. The feel of turning a page,these days we have a plastic block with the details,somehow more magic has been lost.

I can see the point of intergration with devices but somewhere along the line we seem to have lost ourselves to these devices. I am just as bad at having this modern technology but one thing for sure, it can feel so liberating when you haven't got them with you, sure you feel totally lost at first but it is good to sometimes look up from your screen at the world around you and notice things. Do we really want our lives to be based on what a little display has to offer us?

  • Anonymous

Great article! Just looked around the office and nobody wears wristwatches anymore :-).

  • dakkk

What you actually always - really always - would have on you is your watch. With sensible input - output method as well as a way of having conversation - a slightly bigger hand watch would be perfect. Or maybe a big armband with screen - I can imagine getting used to something like that easily.

  • SwimmerBoy

Anonymous, 26 Jul 2010nice article...but list is incomplete...list also includes stopw... moreQuote: "nice article...but list is incomplete...list also includes stopwatch, which is confined to physics labs and compass..."

About the cheap-looking wristwatches, that don't qualify as a fashion accessory - those also have their applications hardly ever replaceable by mainstream mobile phones: for example WATERPROOF sports-wristwatches for swimmers, or wristwatches for other sports - mobiles are simply not practical for timekeeping in sports.
So Stopwatch is not confined to physics labs.

I agree with everyone that commented on the calculator, whether scientific or simple one with big keys for accounting. Ergonomics, people.

About the fixed phone usage, I try to use mine as often as I can, because my ears/head/brain/whatever hurts after talking on my mobile. Fixed phones are better for longer conversations - it's not just about the cheap call options from your operator - I believe and feel that mobile phone usage is bad for your health - I don't give a FUK what the mobile-manufacturer-subsidized studies and tests say, I feel my head hurting after talking on my Samsung J-700 (SAR=0.44 W/kg which is considered low). So don't be proclaiming that mobiles are pushing out the fixed phones.
Mad_duke, if you're reading this, what country are you from? I'm from Croatia, and here it is also a requirement to have a fixed line with the operator to get DSL service.

As for the article, in a few parts it sounded childish, it seemed the author was throwing around with unsupported statements just to push his point through, like the fixed phones not being around for much longer.. What about headquarters of companies, did you think of that? For static jobs in offices fixed phones are gonna RULE 4EVER, maybe internally the phone companies will switch to VoIP technology to cut costs, but the phones will remain fixed.

Peace all and go do some running/swimming!!!

  • hoang

Samarth INNOV8 user, 26 Jul 2010Nice Article GSMArena. I want to add something:--> 1. I be... morefor your 2nd point , what kind of man need 2h caculation , accountant only , and when somebody need 2h caculation , what will they do => MS Excel .