Everyone is talking about what the Apple Watch replacing the traditional watches and decimating the market. But that has been happening long before the Apple Watch came along. I'm not sure what is the percentage of the human population that wear watches but it is not a reach to suggest that that number dropped since the availability of the iPhone and other smart phones.
What I am wondering about is how the smartphone has affected the flashlight market. I thought of this when I went on a recent camping trip. I had all the gears that I needed including flashlights for the strolls on the paths that had no lights.I brought a lot a couple of lanterns and two flashlights with 1000 lumens each. I ended up not using one of them because I had not thought to when I left the camp site which was well lit by a fire and half a dozen lanterns brought by my family and friends.
With my wife using one of the flashlights, I had only my phone and so I turned it on to illuminate the path in front of us to make sure we don't trip or stepped into anything that I was going to regret while she swept the beam from the flashlight around us.
My phone performed admirably. It was adequate for the near darkness. We could not see anything in front of us and the only source of light were cabins across the lake and everything else was dark on our side.
Had we only used our phones, it would have been fine. Maybe a bit more scary but I am sure there was no bears around despite the signs. But, hey, we're city folks so we are not used to being in that environment.
So I wondered if what we had was good enough for a weekend camping trip, is anyone really buying flashlights anymore? Unless you have a specific need for a flashlight or lantern, I just don't see it.
It depends on the specific needs. If you need one that is more durable because of work, definitely. A handyman is going to need more than a phone. Ergonomically, a tube shaped flashlight works better than a phone for most types of jobs. And if you need more light than the light on a camera can provide, definitely.
When we go for walks at night in the neighborhood, the phone light was all that we needed. I have a couple of small flashlights about 50 lumens sitting by the door and I can't remember when was the last time I used them.
For me, the most important tech I needed were the battery packs with USB ports to charge our phones. I know what some of you may be thinking. I should have left the tech at home. Sorry, city folks here. Ain't gonna happen. Mostly I needed to check emails but that's about it. I ignored everything else that was coming through. Sort of a compromise.
So, are you still buying flashlights for your home needs? And if not, is it because the light on your phone is all you need?