Right when CES 2017 is looming just around the corner and 20,000 gadgets are reportedly going to stage their debut in that event, the New York Times published a story declaring that the tech apocalypse is upon us, that winter is coming for the tech world.
The excitable members of the public would probably be scampering by now, getting their devices under cover since the prediction indicates that devices, smartphones and all the things that ship with them – AI, Android, apps, Quick Charge, VR, malware – will utterly get wiped out from the face of the planet.
But is the age of gadgets really at an end?
The Purported Gadget Apocalypse According To The New York Times
The New York Times' piece, which was penned by Farhad Manjoo, based the tech doomsday scenario on at least three variables.
First, there is the iPhone. According to Manjoo, this device is THE Thing That Does Everything and for that reason, it is rendering everything else obsolete.
"We knew the Thing was going to be big, but we didn't know it would be this big," he said. "When the Thing threatened to eat up all the gadgets, nobody thought it would really happen."
Secondly, he referenced the way more and more tech companies are now in the business of developing products not through the creation of actual physical things but through codes. Manjoo states that it is simply not feasible. Products get made but they don't last, they are delivered late and they don't work as well.
This is purportedly the reason why companies struggle to sustain long-term stability.
Finally, the New York Times report blamed the pirates and the copycats out there for the death of all things tech. Its position is that once a good tech product is introduced, it immediately earns a knockoff, making it increasingly difficult for the tech innovators to thrive.
Now, the question is: can all those factors really obliterate the gadget world for good?
If you ask tech insiders, the answer is a resounding no. Take the case of Shawn Dubravac, chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association. He was cornered by VentureBeat's Chris O'Brien who appeared suitably troubled by a potential gadget-less future.
"We sold more gadgets in 2016 than we have ever sold in the history of the planet," Dubravac calmly assuaged his interviewer. "And we'll sell more in 2017 than we have ever sold."
Dubravac has not made that statement without any empirical evidence. He is poised to speak at CES 2017 about the global consumer electronics market and he has already pored over tons of data packed with statistical analyses.
Dubravac's point is that Manjoo merely picked a bunch of recent tech failures and proceeded on writing a story out of it.
All things considered, Manjoo did have some valid arguments such as the way knockoffs harm innovation. To say, however, that the reasons he outlined will collectively cause the tech world crashing down in a heap so that the purported Thing A.K.A. the iPhone is the only remaining survivor sounds quite a bit of a stretch.