Wait a minute. Did we just kill the Smartphone of old?

Wait a minute. Did we just kill the Smartphone of old? Remember this ? It’s the original SPV (HTC Canary). I bought it back in 2002 and started a little web page about it. The website grew and, after nearly 8 years and several billion hits, we’re now in a world of Windows Phone. Tonight I took a trip down memory lane, clicking on news items from 2003. We marvelled at the new SPV E100 (HTC Tanager) with it’s built-in camera (the original SPV didn’t have one) and 120Mhz CPU. Sure, they may seem old now but these “Smartphones” were very popular and some of the first to use colour screens. They had something else in common too. There was no touch screen.

We now seem to have an endless supply of touch-screen phones. Android is touch-based (I certainly don’t know of any Android devices without a touch-screen) and just recently we watched Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announce Windows Phone 7. There’s something we’ve all missed though. Something that no site has really picked up on. I think we’re seeing the death of the non-touch screen Windows phone. The “Smartphone” of old – those phones that started this site – have been consigned to the dustbin.

I should perhaps let the manufacturers and OS developers have their say though. They will no doubt tell me that “phones with numeric keypads are still possible”. Microsoft could well tell me that Windows Phone 7 Series handsets could still look like “normal candybar style” phones – i.e. a screen, a numeric keypad and a navigation control. However, I’m starting to doubt it. Does Windows Phone 7 Series look like a non-touch OS? No, far from it. Will the Android OS and the funky GUI’s on top support a non-touch screen? No.

I fear that the Smartphone of old is dead. The Microsoft Smartphone that helped to start this site looks to have gone. The likes of the Orange SPV C600 and the HTC S740 may well be the last ever “phone shaped” devices we’ll ever see running a Microsoft or Android OS.

I could be wrong though, so I’d love to hear your opinions and thoughts on this one…