As technology improves, it replaces older technology and devices. It’s the cycle of industrial life. This has been continuously apparent in the wonderful world of wireless phones. By the time cell phones became completely main stream, many models started including calculators. Handheld calculators began seeing a steady decrease in sales ever since, especially in conjunction with the rise of the PC.

Now with the rise of the smart phone, they have been on a continuous killing spree for many multi-million / billion dollar industries. One of the first industries to get hit was the “house phone.” Because everyone has a cell phone now, literally nobody I know still has a house phone (land line) that is under the age of 55. Cell phones have become so universal that house phones are now basically obsolete. Many people don’t see the need for both.

Next was the drastic improvement on the camera phone. More and more people are using their cell phones to take and share pictures rather than lugging around the traditional point and shoots. Like many people nowadays, my phone takes better pictures than my actual camera.

Another device I have not used since I got a smart phone – the GPS in my car. With the GPS in my smart phone having features like voice recognition, it’s just easier and faster to use my phone so I don’t ever need to bother with my car GPS.

Yet another device brutally murdered by the smart phone – the PDA. 10 years ago millions of business people relied on their PDA’s to keep their life organized. When was the last time you saw someone use a PDA?

With the entire World Wide Web at my fingertips, I take my laptop with me a lot less frequently. I use my laptop to surf the web, write e-mails, store pictures and music, shop on-line - I can do all that on my phone. As they get faster and more advanced, my phone can now do many of the functions my laptop can – plus more.

One of the most recent industries smart phones are going after is portable gaming. According to a new survey released by market research firm Interpret, one-time fans of portable gaming systems like the Nintendo DS and Sony’s PSP are using their smartphones instead and leaving their game units at home. "Gamers appear to be defecting from their handheld gaming devices to phones to get their gaming kicks," says Interpret's report, which polled 9,000 U.S. consumers. "A full 27% of consumers indicate that they play games on their phones only and actually own a DS or PSP, but do not actively use the device(s)." There are also current rumors that Sony is about to unveil an Android-based smartphone that will integrate PSP game functionality.

With smartphones now combining all those capabilities and convenience, carrying around those bulky devices seems absurd, unless of course you have a designer Mary Poppins bag. These devices, which at one point constituted billions of dollars, are now essentially obsolete.

So what industry will smart phones go after next? How long can this killing spree continue?
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Nick Haneiko

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