It’s sometimes easy to forget that the age of the smartphone is barely 15 years old. The launch of the Apple iPhone 3 was a watershed moment for an industry that had experienced rapid growth as technology to accommodate more powerful handheld devices grew. In the years that followed, there were virtually no rivals to the smartphone, but according to manufacturers like Nokia, change is on the horizon. As one of the manufacturers that flourished amidst the first cellular phone boom at the turn of the century, Nokia has performed exceptionally well in creating cutting edge devices, but now the Finnish telecommunications giant is will replace the smartphone in the coming years. anticipating that the metaverse “Our belief is that this device will be overtaken by a metaverse experience in the second half of the decade,” , chief strategy and technology officer at Nokia. said Nishant Batra The notion that anything could replace our dependence on a device that many of us can’t leave the house without seems unlikely, but Batra’s thoughts are shared by many other key players in the world of technology. As more major tech firms rebrand to accommodate the age of Web 3.0 like Meta (formerly Facebook), and Block (formerly Square), it’s clear that businesses are betting big on the metaverse and the next generation of online experiences, but what does it mean for the existence of the smartphone? Could we really be set for a future without our mobile companions? ‘Living in the Metaverse’ For tech pioneers like Mark Zuckerberg, the role of the metaverse in the future will be transformative for users. “A lot of people assume the metaverse is about a location, but one description of it is a period when immersive digital worlds become the primary way we live our lives and spend our time,” in a podcast with Lex Fridman last year. "What I care about is inventing technology to enable people to engage with one another." Zuckerberg said Today, our primary way of engaging with one another is through the use of our smartphones. Here, we can communicate verbally, textually, or through an ever-expanding range of social networks and socially-focused apps. Collaboration apps can also help us to work via our smartphones and complete tasks on an entirely remote basis. However, the a different proposition entirely. When fully realized, the metaverse will act as an immersive virtual world where we can engage with other users in a far more comprehensive way. metaverse represents Through the use of augmented or virtual reality eyewear, we will be capable of placing ourselves anywhere within 3D digital locations. Whether it’s a virtual fashion retailer, interactive gaming environment, or a board room, the metaverse promises to deliver meaningful experiences as we work, play, and communicate with others. This would see the emphasis of tech giants switch to reality technology as a primary means of delivering these impactful experiences. Already, leading smartphone manufacturers like Apple have sought to create as a means of helping users to access the metaverse. augmented reality eyewear If Mark Zuckerberg expects users to ‘live’ in the metaverse in the mid-term future, how can smartphones remain relevant when we’re expected to constantly be interconnected in virtual reality? The answer is that we’re likely to see smartphones adapt to complement the metaverse over the coming years. Adapting to Change The great thing about cellular devices is that they’re highly adaptable. Although the earliest mobile phones were capable of sending SMS text messages, the feature was never meant to become a dominant form of communication that paved the way for the likes of WhatsApp and Messenger today. As technology continued to evolve, phones were quick to become more intelligent with color screens, built-in cameras, and video streaming capabilities. The metaverse will also be a new technology that the smartphone will accommodate. 2022 saw HTC launch the first ‘metaverse smartphone,’ which had the ability to access a range of Web 3.0 features for users. The is capable of offering cryptocurrency and NFT functionality as well as access to HTC’s own metaverse platform, Viverse. HTC Desire 22 Pro Likewise, we’re seeing Apple continue to make a conscious effort to in its App Store repertoire of apps. Today, the latest iPhone 14 Pro Max not only features metaverse-ready connectivity, but it also comes with , which can help to scan real-world spaces to recreate in the metaverse. accommodate more metaverse tools 5G embedded LIDAR Naturally, in its early stages, the metaverse will exist primarily through smartphone access, which will only deepen our bonds with handsets. This has already seen the development of metaverse-based , an augmented reality music and movies app. platforms like Visualax Although the future role of smartphones in the metaverse is unclear, it’s highly likely that our favorite handheld devices will evolve to support the age of Web 3.0 rather than become obsolete by the growing technology. They may even entry-points when we’re out and about and unable to fully immerse ourselves into virtual worlds. become portable metaverse We’ve become accustomed to seeing smartphones quickly embrace innovation to maintain their relevance, and we can fully expect the same trend to take place–even if we really do begin to ‘live’ in the metaverse.