23 devices my iPhone has replaced

On June 18, 2009, in Technology, by Administrator


I started thinking about what a converged device the iPhone is and compiled this impressive list of devices I used to carry that are now replaced by my iPhone.  This is an unprecedented level of convergence if you ask me.  A quick informal tally shows that the iPhone is replacing $2700.00 dollars worth of equipment and several pounds worth of gear.

1) Blackberry – I used to carry a dedicated Blackberry for email in addition to my phone.  Most users will just use their Blackberry as their phone, but I was never really happy with the BB form factor as a phone.  The iPhone serves as both my email retrieval device and phone.

2) Phone – See above.

3) iPod – My iPhone has a built in iPod.  No need for a dedicated device, though in all honesty I usually carry my iPod Touch or Classic with me on travel as well.

4) Nuvi GPS – With built in GPS (and soon turn-by-turn directions) I’ve had no need for a dedicated GPS device.

5) Sirius portable player – I used to carry a Sirius radio portable player on travel for access to commercial free music and talk radio.  With my iPhone I can stream Sirius over 3G or WiFi.  Unfortunately, there is no Howard Stern which may be a deal breaker for some users, but not for me.

6) RSA SecureID – With the RSA application, no need to carry a separate token.

7) eBay/PayPal SecureID – Another iPhone application eliminates the need for either of these devices.

8 ) WiFI SIP phone – My iPhone has a SIP phone client that I use to connect to my SIP provider over WiFi from anywhere in the world.

9)  PSP – I’m happy enough with the iPhone as a gaming platform to leave the PSP at home.

10) Nintendo DS – I gave this to my daughter after buying an iPhone.

11) Digital camera – I wouldn’t want to photograph my cousins wedding with the iPhone camera, but for out and about daily shots it works great.  I can also upload and email photos from the device on the go.

12)  Flip Video Camera – The iPhone 3GS replaces my Flip video camera with a larger capacity, built in editor, and ability to upload my videos to the Internet directly from the device.

13) WiFi signal locator – My iPhone can tell me which signals are nearby.

14) Amazon Kindle – For long trips, I’ll still bring the Kindle, but for day to day and short duration travel, the iPhone Kindle reader works just fine.

15) Police Scanner – Several iPhone applications allow you to listen to local police scanners.  My favorite is WunderRadio.  While you lose the proximity aspect of tuning in what is nearby, most major cities are well covered and can be listened to from the iPhone.

16)  Radio – With Internet streaming of most major radio stations available, there is no need for a separate radio unless you trying to pick up a specific signal.  I’m usually not and there is something glorious about listening to your favorite NYC radio station while in LA

17) Travel Alarm Clock – The iPhone built in alarm capability has you covered.  I don’t even use the alarms in hotel rooms any more.

18)  Portable TV – Honestly, I only carried this on a handful of trips, but with my iPhone and Slingbox application, I can watch TV anywhere I can get a WiFI signal.  In addition, I can watch shows recorded on my DVR at home.

19) Portable Voice Recorder – The iPhones built in application (or any of the dozens for sale in the App store) handle my voice recording needs.

20) Calculator – Until the iPhone I never could use my cell phone’s built in calculator without extreme frustration.

21) Compass – The battery to the digital compass I had attached to my laptop bag died and I just removed the compass and threw it in a drawer.

22)  White noise machine – I don’t personally travel with this device, but we do when traveling with the baby.  With the ambient noise application on my iPhone, we can leave this one at home.

23) USB Key – My iPhone works as a drive to share files wirelessly with my laptop when needed.

Devices that I wish my iPhone could replace:

1) Verizon MiFi – If tethering becomes available at a reasonable price, the MiFi could be left behind.  However, I love the MiFi so much, I’ll probably keep it around for a while.

2) Laptop – For some trips, I’d love to leave the laptop at home.  If I could get a portable bluetooth keyboard that dream would become a reality for short trips.  Unfortunately, the onscreen keyboard is just not sufficient for major tasks or SSH sessions.


40 Responses to “23 devices my iPhone has replaced”

  1. […] navigators and Apple’s iPod.  The demand for each of these products has been decimated by all-encompassing smartphones and tablets, which include good-enough or better performing apps, often for free.For example, if […]

  2. Ivana says:

    Last night my son got a piece of glass stuck in his foot. I needed bright light to be able to see and remove it, so junior suggested we download the iphone itorch app … and sure enough … we had light. Jokingly I said, we need magnifying glass … and tadaaaa he found a magnifying glass app with a flash light! This made me think about all the tools on my iphone and what I would have to carry if I didn’t have it!

  3. […] – and combine them all into one portable and easy to use device. Another blogger logged twenty-three devices he was able to replace with his iPhone. Police scanner app for the iPhone lets you listen in on emergency calls from cities around the […]

  4. Nfortunately, the multi-tasking of the iPhone seems to be somewhat limited. Can you use the white noise for the baby, make calls, or use the radio apps? How about GPS and gaming?

    It’s a marvelous device, but it has a way to go to really do all of those tasks efficiently.

  5. Chuck says:

    If the iPhone had a docking point where you can connect a monitor, keyboard, USB, and mouse; you essentially have a computer. I’ve always web curious to know why that is not a selling point- your computer replacement is your iPhone. I’ve installed an app where I can print from my iPhone to my printserver in my house- this is amazing! I have not opened my laptop in months. I buy my airline tickets via iPhone and got an approved mortgage using my iPhone.

  6. […] between people and their electronics disappear.”  We also found this summary of “23 devices my iPhone has replaced.”  Someone else put together a comparison of power, price, and weight between a 2000 […]

  7. […] Наподобие видите, свой Толяна нимало мало-: неграмотный одинок. Как вона некоторым айфон экономит и старинны годы, и силы, и деньга, а который-ведь предпочитает многокилограммовые жилеты. Остается промолвить: «Вы всё-таки к тому же кипятите? В то время айфон отлично к вас!» -побывать) может с целью пятой модели знаменитого смартфона выпустят и прикладывание ото ультраакустический портативной стиральной машинки «Ретона». [] […]

  8. […] we do this less frequently – see The Phone Call is Dead) , but also for many other purposes (see 23 devices my iPhone has replaced). The teleputers in our pockets connect to many other systems, also by Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS and […]

  9. […] портативной стиральной машинки «Ретона». [] Запись опубликована в рубрике Новости, полезный в […]

  10. […] портативной стиральной машинки «Ретона». [] Без комментариев Просмотров новости: 7 […]

  11. […] Click here to read Devost’s full list, plus which two gadgets he wishes the iPhone could replace. […]

  12. […] the fact that one device, the iPhone replaced $2,700 of someone’s electronic equipment (, and we’re only talking about one device right here.  That is the power of innovation.  […]

  13. […] are getting closer to the “one device to rule them all.” Matt Devost came up with 23 things his iPhone replaced; I agree with most of them, and I bet there are more. Some wonder if it’s a good thing to […]

  14. Lance Wiggs says:

    I’ve replaced my Mifi with my tethered iPhone, but then I’m in New Zealand and using the always 3G Telecom XT network.
    On the other hand I still find a need for a kindle, an iPad, the MacBook Air 11 and a MBP 17.

  15. aaron says:

    Well, i never carried any of those, so there’s no need for a phone to replace any of it.

    Which is probably why I still don’t have anything other than a flip phone for 911 calls.

    • James says:

      Well you are clearly not the clientele this article is meant for. Frankly your ridiculous for even commenting. Welcome to life post the 80’s.

      • No, he’s not being ridiculous. He has a valid point- not all the assorted gadgets modern technology has afforded are absolutely essential to life, at least not for all persons.

        Admittedly there is an advantage to some- voice recorders for journalists, perhaps, and GPS for those who do a lot of travelling and don’t want to have to carry half a ton of maps. Portable TVs and games consoles, though, are a luxury- nice to have, but can be lived without.

  16. Gubatron says:

    My Android replaced my iPhone. PWNED.

  17. Pedro Paulo says:

    Is this really just iPhone that replace all those things? Please, tell me what iten in that list is not covered by a Samsung Galaxy S or a Nexus ONE?? Seriously, how much money did Apple paid you for this post?

    • Sjaak says:

      The Galaxy S replaces the MiFi too!
      Plus on Android you can use the Wifi Analyzer and scan Wifi and get usefull data for real. Apple doesn’t even allow the Wifi Analyzer in there shop.

      I also run ScummVM and stuff on my androids 😛

      Try that on the iPhone without rooting them.


  18. […] Read now ☞ Tags iPhone Categories Fun LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  19. Gurl says:

    This article is over a year old, and since then a new iPhone has been released that has new features and more things to replace.

  20. […] Interesting article by Matthew G. Devost on all the devices his iPhone has replaced. I’m can’t say that I’ve gone as far as he has in replacing 23 devices (I wasn’t using 23 devices) but the iPhone’s ability to capture high quality video and photos has allowed me to leave my flip at home as well as the digital Camera. I’m not ready for multi-media production anytime and that’s a huge plus. […]

  21. […] corporate converts because it is good enough as an emailing device but does so much more (sidenote: see here on 23 devices that an iPhone replaces)… For decades Apple has been the specialist in consumer […]

  22. I hope in the analysis you included the extra hour of exercise that you had to add to replace the aerobic benefit of carrying all that stuff around every day.

  23. 25 devices my EVO has replaced : Its 26 actually .. Please add iPhone as well 😀

  24. ankit says:

    my nokia N900 also works as a laptop for me 😀

  25. Nick says:

    I wish the iphone shipped with a Taser. Then it would be the perfect device:)

  26. […] corporate converts because it is good enough as an emailing device but does so much more (sidenote: see here on 23 devices that an iPhone replaces)… For decades Apple has been the specialist in consumer […]

  27. Administrator says:

    Ryan, keep in mind this blog post is almost 18 months old. Agree that this type of convergence is commonplace now, but the iPhone was the first device that highlighted how extensive that convergence could be.

  28. […] by brian on Sunday, 5 December 2010View Comments TweetHere’s an interesting article written by Matthew Devost where he shares 23 things his iPhone has replaced. We’ve all no doubt replaced a few things […]

  29. Ryan says:

    Lame … any smart phone replaces all these devices now

  30. […] over many converts because it is good enough as an email reader but does so much more (sidenote: see here on 23 devices that an iPhone replaces) For decades Apple has been the specialist in consumer […]

  31. […] 25 devices my EVO has replaced 1) Blackberry 2) Phone 3) iPod 4) Nuvi GPS 5) Sirius portable player 6) RSA SecureID 7) eBay/PayPal SecureID 8 ) WiFI SIP phone 9) PSP 10) Nintendo DS 11) Digital camera 12) Flip Video Camera 13) WiFi signal locator 14) Amazon Kindle 15) Police Scanner 16) Radio 17) Travel Alarm Clock 18) Portable TV 19) Portable Voice Recorder 20) Calculator 21) Compass 22) White noise machine 23) USB Key 24) Verizon MiFi 25) Laptop 23 devices my iPhone has replaced […]

  32. Richard says:

    The Palm portable bluetooth keyboard (used for the Treo) works just fine on the iPhone (and iPad). I use it for all my meeting notes. So it looks like you only need Verizon to sort out the MiFi and you are at 25 discarded devices.

  33. Administrator says:

    Tom, point noted about the compass. Coming from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, I was taught that if you are heading into big woods, you bring not one, but two real compasses. I’ve second-guessed myself several times over the years and pulled out the back-up just to make sure the primary was right.

    Greg, I honestly never used my previous phones as a calculator or alarm clock with the exception of my Treo which I didn’t carry for that many months.

    Agree about the camera. My wife is the photographer, so I rely on her to have the real camera handy.

  34. Greg says:

    I can only agree that the iPhone is a very versatile device! But some of this list is just silly. Even people with an old-school monochrome flip-phone had already replaced their travel Alarm Clocks and Calculators with it, at the absolute minimum.

    Others, while I believe the iPhone is a reasonable replacement for, are still far better at their roles; using the iPhone is ‘reasonable’ because you might use these things on a casual basis and the trade-off is worth the portability. But really… the iPhone is NOT a reader, as you admit yourself. And there are only a very small handful of games for the iPhone that can rival the best of the DS. If you only used the DS for Sudoku, I get it, though.

    As for the camera…

    If you care about the photo -AT ALL-… you wouldn’t really rely on the iPhone. For shots of friends at the pub only. Or impulse shots. Not only would you not use it for your cousin’s wedding, but you wouldn’t even use it for “Oh, my child has spaghetti all over his head. I could grab my iPhone or my camera” (obvious choice), and you’d be a fool to not bring a camera with you on a proper vacation. iPhone is NOT a camera replacement. Not even close.

    • Scott says:

      Hm … I plan on getting an iPhone 5, and I have every intention of using it as a point and shoot replacement. I’d like a T2i for hobbyist endeavors and special occasions, but … spaghetti on the head just might get the iPhone whipped out first. I think it’s a decent enough camera at this point.

      I’ve never used my any phone I’ve owned as an alarm, but I’ve used my iPod touch as one. Calculator … yeah, I guess I’ve used it my phone.

      • Opeycunningham says:

        Totally agree, Scott. I’ve got more photo gear than my wife knows–for pro work on the side, and high end analogue stuff for personal work–and on a recent trip to Disney I couldn’t bear the thought of dragging all that out and then having to process all the RAW files, etc….ugh. The quality and character of the available apps (filters, basically) make the iPhone4 a perfectly sufficient and acceptable point and shoot for many people. There are some really good and innovative iPhone4 photogs out there–just search Flickr tags for iPhone etc. Would I shoot a wedding with it? No (but that’s an interesting though), although I have used it at weddings where I wasn’t the primary photog. It’s a different vibe than you get with a boat-anchor DSLR, or even than with a Leica analog machine. You just have to be willing to accept that.

        Plus you can easily switch from photo to video.

  35. Tom says:

    I say keep the compass if you plan on going into the woods, the iPhone compass isn’t super reliable. If you take your compass and look at it upside down, it will probably still point the same physical direction for north. The iPhone will get confused and north will be relocated. That’s not good. Also, I never know if it’s telling me the truth about north when it’s vertical or when it’s horizontal (it changes then, too). I’d use a compass horizontal, but the iPhone may only be accurate vertically.

    I mentioned this to someone at the Apple Store shortly after getting it (just in conversation) and he said he wouldn’t trust it because it’s very wonky. Just sayin’.

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