The rise of convenient technology

Nowadays, a smartphone can do almost anything. Combining the functionality of a mobile phone with music players and digital cameras, many people now only invest in one streamlined gadget. Technology is more convenient than ever before, but how has it changed?

Music players

Portable music players have come a long way since the days of tape players and CD Walkman’s. In the early noughties, the MP3 player rose to dominance, captained by the iPod. Apple’s offering quickly became the market leader, offering superior storage and sound quality over their rivals.

As new models emerged, sales of the iPod continued to grow, reaching a peak of 54.83 million in 2008 alone. However, according to Statista, sales in 2014 had dropped to just 14.38 million units. But why?

The drop in sales is largely down to the emergence of high-tech smartphones, such as the iPhone, which include a built-in music player.

These changes have been felt across the industry, as leading car audio supplier In Car Connections recognises. The brand has witnessed a shift in customers purchasing habits, with more people now purchasing in-car adapters for HTC models than iPods.

To match the change in technology, how we purchase and play music has also changed. Digital downloads from iTunes and Google Music reign supreme, and can be loaded direct to devices without the need for a PC or laptop. Bluetooth speakers, headphones and wireless in-car adapters allow us to stream music and are largely dominating the market.

Digital cameras

Over the years, the quality of smartphone cameras has developed from sub-megapixel shots to crystal-clear capabilities.

The iPhone 6 has an 8-megapixel camera — impressive, but it’s not the best that smartphones can offer. The Nokia Lumia 1020 offers an astounding 41-megapixel camera, and the Oppo Find 7’s camera boasts a huge 50-megapixels. So, is the digital camera market as dead as a dodo?

As CNBC reported in 2014, the point-and-shoot digital camera market is in decline as, for the same price as a camera, users can purchase a smartphone instead. However, the article reports that digital SLR cameras are still performing well, as a result of an influx of affluent middle class users.

There will always be a market for cameras, as not everyone is satisfied with a typical smartphone’s capabilities. Photographers will usually need something more professional, and many people are starting to use cameras as a means of protection. For example, some cyclists use personal cameras to record their road riding experience, providing evidence should an incident occur.

In addition, in order to compete with the smartphone market, digital cameras are increasingly offering social functions. When connected to Wi-Fi, for instance, users can instantly upload their snaps to their favourite social media platforms.

Do you still use an MP3 player or digital camera? Would you ever ditch them in favour of a smartphone? Let us know in the comments below.

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