Smartphones do too much: convergence is giving way to divergence


For years, the holy grail of personal tech has been convergence. Now that we essentially have a version of that in the form of smartphones – which allow fairly sophisticated computing for most daily needs, from accomplishing work to playing music – ironically many of us are discovering the need to extract some of those functions and instead carry multiple devices, such as a smartphone, a tablet, and a smartwatch all at once.

I call this trend divergence; let’s look at a few factors that are driving it.

Increasing complexity

Moore’s Law, which predicts that the number of components in integrated circuit chips doubles every 18 months, made it possible to drive more power from a small footprint of electronics. With Moore’s Law on their side and users demanding to carry more with less, entrepreneurs seized the opportunity, and began fitting more functions into a single device, thus paving the way…

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