Are Smartphones the Wal-Mart of the Tech Industry?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308


Are Smartphones the Wal-Mart of the Tech Industry?News Bulletin: Flip Cameras are defunct. The darling of the 2007-2008 tech industry shuttered its doors last week.

News Bulletin: GPS sales were down 37% on Black Friday. Hammered, you might say.

Who really needs a wrist watch or alarm clock anymore? Even way back in 2006, iPods and cell phones were taking market share from these time honored (pun intended) devices.

Who needs a point and shoot camera? Olympus cameras posted a double digit slide in sales in 2010. New smartphones shoot HD pictures with the convenience of a text or email to send them around the world or post on your favorite social media. Instant. No need to download to the computer, just point and share! The newest ones even have flash.

Smartphones continue to pack more and more into their slim selves, ravishing other products in their path. I'll bet even Daytimers are feeling the effects of these electronic calendars on the go.

Are Smartphones the Wal-Mart of the Tech Industry?

Every next-gen phone rolls out more cool features, better apps, and moves a larger chunk of the population to declare that they would give up their computer before they would give up their Smartphone.

Wal-Mart comes to town and mom and pop businesses go under. They can't compete with Wal-Mart's all-in-one attractiveness, not to mention prices. Smartphones are all-in-one devices. With a Smartphone, lots of extra gadgets fall by the wayside.

With the latest Smartphones, you have eliminated your need for a still camera, video camera, voice recorder, tv/monitor, stop watch, watch, alarm clock, GPS, thermometer, computer for research or social media, notepad, photo editing software, photo album, compass, calendar, iPod or other music device, radio, level, flashlight, and much, much more.

Get the picture? Smartphones are here to stay - and the competition better be reinventing themselves or face the same fate as the Flip camera.

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About the Author: Sharon Alters works with her husband, Frank. They are in the top 5% real estate agents for production in the Jacksonville Florida area, specializing in Military and Corporate Relocation in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, St. Augustine and Beaches areas. Their local knowledge can help Relocating Buyers find the perfect lifestyle, whether it is a Castle on the Ocean, or a Cottage in the Country. 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jim Frimmer 04/20/2011 05:40 PM
  2. Harry Logan 04/20/2011 06:35 PM
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Gadgets, Tools, & Extras
Club Chaos
Blogs Happen...
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Josh & Dawn McKinley
Peoria, AZ

I don't know if I'd say the Walmart... but maybe the Target. Smartphones give the impression of being "upgraded" from the one-trick gadgets... just as Target gives the impression of being an upgrade from Walmart.

Apr 20, 2011 04:22 PM #1
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


It is all about the convenience.

Remember when every lock had its own key? Pretty much still the same way. Bit I amsure that it is only a matter of time before my Mercedes key could be also programmed to open the door from my condo...

It is about convenience

Apr 20, 2011 04:27 PM #2
Joni Bailey
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®
I think that you are absolutely right. Personally I am glad to be rid of all of the accessories! Especially the supra key that I had to remember to charge and update each night! ;)))
Apr 20, 2011 04:41 PM #3
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

This is an interesting take, but I think the new Wal-Mart might soon be the tablets.

Apr 20, 2011 04:53 PM #4
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Josh & Dawn, good point. I used Wal-Mart because they are so famous for putting other people out of business. But smartphones are definitely an upscale item.

Jon, and convenience is coming in smaller and smaller packages. You can operate the lights, heat/cool, alarm and nanny cams from your smartphone. How convenient is that?

Joni, right the Suprakey! It's another dinosaur waiting to happen!

Jane, you're right. They're just big smartphones!

Apr 20, 2011 05:00 PM #5
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I suspect there will even come a time when those smart phone cameras allow us to modify the camera settings so that we have more control over the pictures. However, I also suspect that companies like Canon and Nikon will continue to reinvent themselves, too.

Apr 20, 2011 05:39 PM #6
Harry Logan
RE/MAX executives realty - Winnipeg, MB

Hi Frank & Sharon,

Great observation and analogy.  I just purchased an iPhone and I am finding new functionality and amazing powers of this dynamite little device all the time.

I forgot my camera the other day and decided to try taking the pictures with my iPhone till I could come back and take them with my "real" camera.  I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the photos and there was no need to go back and re-take them.

Thanks for the great post! I suggested it for a featured post and I will also re-blog it.


Apr 20, 2011 06:22 PM #7
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

I guess you are correct but I had not looked at it that way before.

Apr 20, 2011 06:38 PM #8
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

I would think they are more like Google.....because smartphones can spy on you! 

Apr 20, 2011 06:44 PM #9
Mitch Gover - Orlando, FL

Great post Sharon.  Have you seen the Bud Light commercial where the guys hosting a party run out of Bud Light?  Luckily he had downloaded a "Bud Light App" that poured beer out of his smart phone.  Pretty funny.  I wholeheartedly agree, they're here to stay, and keep getting better and better.

Apr 21, 2011 02:28 AM #10
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Jim, I think they're just waiting to roll that out in future releases. The technology is already there.

Harry, thanks! I have won Club Chaos photo contests with iPhone pictures! They take great pix and you're right, you don't have to re-shoot them with your "regular" camera. Thanks for the re-blog and suggest :)

Tim, it was a Eureka moment for me when I thought of it.

Gerard, hmmm, that too!

Mitch, yes I have seen that one - hilarious!

Apr 21, 2011 09:43 AM #11
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Mom and pop businesses have had to re-invent themselves in order to differentiate themselves from Wal-Mart. Manufacturers competing against smart phones which co-opted features from other electronic gadgets are going to have to re-invent themselves and compete on a different level in order to remain meaningful in the market.




Apr 21, 2011 03:04 PM #12
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Mel & Gretchen, it's survival of the fittest. Re-invent or be gone! Same thing works for our industry...


Apr 21, 2011 04:50 PM #13
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Technology does upgrade fast .... I'm beginning to wonder what gadgets  the coming years may bring... 

Apr 22, 2011 10:47 PM #14
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

I bought a point and shoot camera and then about a month later bought a smartphone...that poor camera NEVER gets used!

Apr 23, 2011 05:54 AM #15
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

I love my smart phone. The GPS is much better than my Garmin.  The camera and video features are really convenient for spur of the moment shots, although I still use my digital camera for listing pictures. I wonder what they will think of next?

Apr 26, 2011 01:43 AM #16
Andre R. Aragon
Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Photographer

Hi Sharon - Interesting post. No doubt smart phones are here to stay. The advances in digital technology in recent years have been incredible - and if we are to listen to Bill Gates, the Digital Revolution is less than 2% complete. Imagine what the future holds...

Apr 28, 2011 03:16 AM #17
Bob Souza (925) 513-3400 & Leilani Souza (916) 408-5500 Souza Realty - Real Estate Broker in Placer County, California
Souza Realty - Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Loomis, Penryn, Newcastle, Lincoln, Auburn, Meadow Vista (Placer Coun... - Roseville, CA
Homes & Land, Real Estate Investments and Rentals

Sharon, even though I've had an iPhone for about 2 1/2 years now, I still carry my digital camera because I find that I need the zoom capability that the iPhone can't compete well as the speed of being "ready to shoot"! The poor iPhone sometimes takes a good 15-20 seconds to turn on and get the camera ready.

I guess it would be like the iPhone being Wal-Mart and the camera being's all about the service! :)


May 01, 2011 08:04 PM #18
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