Ten years ago this week the smartphone business landscape changed drastically.

Canadian company Blackberry was the dominant force in smartphone technology manufacturing, but that all changed in 2007 when Apple announced they would release their first generation iPhone.

"Blackberry, HTC and Nokia had some smartphones too, but when Apple released the iPhone that was really a game changer, I think," said John Shoff, owner of Reality Bytes in Drumheller.

The phone revolutionized the way people interacted with one another and what a user could now do in the palm of one's hand.

"It's your note taker, it's your navigator when your driving, your calendar system, your personal assistant, so many things that these smartphones do that really aren't anything to do with being a phone. They're more of a universal tool than an actual phone," added Shoff.

The years have not been kind to Blackberry and Nokia as the companies began to struggle competing with Apple and Samsung, which became heavyweights in the smartphone business. In fact, Blackberry, the creator of the smartphone, announced they were getting out of the business in 2016 and focusing more on security and software development.

Looking ahead, Shoff believes some devices will be expanding in screen size while shrinking in other devices.

"The other interesting technology I'm keeping a close eye on is the flexible screen technology, so that's something LG has been at the forefront of and to see, eventually, a smartphone device that (has) a flexible screen that you can just slide into your pocket almost like a piece of paper. That's going to be really cool," smiled Shoff.

Apple just released their iPhone 7 and rumors are beginning to swirl about an iPhone 8 already. An announcement from Samsung about the Galaxy 8 and Galaxy 8 Plus is expected early this year and Nokia also plans on mounting a comeback in the phone business in 2017. 



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