How Smartphones Conquered the Tech World: Page 2

Smartphones have been central to technology for years. But now, everything must have explicit support for mobile phones.
Posted February 27, 2013

Mike Elgan

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So like the PC industry years ago, the smartphone industry has suddenly become one in which branded processor technologies are major selling points, and benchmark tests become major points on product reviews.

Phones In the Living Room

While smartphones have always been associated with and connected to PCs, they've been AWOL in the world of living room entertainment until very recently.

Suddenly, however, smartphones are the component that really matters.

First, Microsoft announced Xbox SmartGlass, which enables smartphone users to interact with Xbox for games and whatever else they're doing with the Big Screen.

Sony last week unveiled its long-awaited Playstation 4 console, which they said will enable users to control the action or augment game play using their existing smartphone and via a Playstation 4 app.

Earlier this month, one of the original developers of the Xbox and the guy who gave it the Xbox name, Nat Brown, blogged something that may have shocked hardcore gaming fans. He said: "Apple, if it chooses to do so, will simply kill Playstation, Wii-U and Xbox by introducing an open 30%-cut app/game ecosystem for Apple-TV."

It's worth pointing out there that the number one gaming platform in the world by far is Apple's -- namely, the iOS platform, thanks to small, cheap or free apps played by Apple's hundreds of millions of iPhone users.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook recently upgraded Apple TV from a "hobby," as former CEO Steve Jobs called it, to an area of "intense interest" by the company.

Translation: Apple intends to dominate the living room.

And if they do that, they will be sure to bring into existence Nat Brown's dystopian scenario of "simply killing" all the major console gaming systems by opening up a gaming App Store on their TV platform.

One thing is very likely with Apple's system: It will be iPhone centric, enabling gaming apps to use both the iPhone and the TV together for both control and also the social aspect of gaming.

This week, in a move nobody predicted, electronics giant LG announced that it had acquired the rights to the WebOS from HP, which it plans to use as the operating system in smart TV products to hit the market next year.

Just as Google TV is a smart TV platform based on a smartphone operating system (Android), LG's competitor will be based on an alternative smartphone OS. Remember that WebOS was the impressive-but-ill-fated platform for Palm's doomed line of smartphones.

This week at Mobile World Congress, it became plain to see what’s happening in the world of consumer technology. Smartphones have become the center of our world. Smartphones are the new PC. Smartphones must be supported on non-smartphone technology in order to succeed. And even TV sets and gaming systems are becoming giant smartphones, powered by smartphone operating systems and controlled by smartphones.

It’s a smartphone world, and now PCs and TVs and gaming consoles are mere peripheral devices.

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Tags: iPhone, smartphone, Samsung, Lenovo, Mobile World Congress (MWC)

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