What has impacted our daily lives more than smartphones?
Once a luxury, now they are for most as essential as fingers, hands and feet. They are at our side, in our pockets and purses, by our beds, in our cars, on our trips -- day and night. We wouldn't dare think of leaving home without it.
Apple, with its iPhone, has been King of the Smartphone Hill, a virtual license to print money. Collectively, its family of i-gadgets has propelled it to the largest company in the world, sitting on cash reserves said to total over $230 billion.
So, why all the angst over Apple earnings last week? In a nutshell, they missed revenue estimates, which in turn drove their stock price down, which in turn resulted in depleting the value of the company by many billions.
What to blame? Simple. The smartphone market is saturated. We all have one, and fewer of us are eager to upgrade to the next whiz-bang, new and improved, latest model. Count me in that last group.
After progressing through the generations, from iPhone 3 to iPhone 5 to the newest model, the iPhone 6, I'm stopping. At least for a while.
Why? Simple. The retail price on a new iPhone is almost $900. That's not an insignificant purchase. But more than anything else, all those new whiz-bang features are wasted on consumers like me. My needs in a phone are pretty straight-forward:
-- Place calls. Check.
-- Send messages. Check.
-- Take photos and videos. Yes, newer models will always provide more pixels, better features and faster operation. But I already have more megapixels for family and vacation snaps than I know what to do with, and I still don't use 80 percent of the other bells and whistles already available. Check.
-- Surf the Net. Check.
-- Listen to music. Love that Amazon Prime.
-- Apps. Look at maps and get directions ... check the scores ... social media, on occasion ... weather forecasts and radar ... a few games ... plus a whole bunch I never seem to touch. Check.
Don't get me wrong. I love my iPhone and yes, wouldn't want to do without it. I just can't help them with their next $billion until they can give me something new I can't live without.
Maybe the Age of the Smartphone has run up against the Age of the Smarter Consumer.
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."