Apple IPhone X At Amazon

The new iPhone X is displayed during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12, 2017 in Cupertino, California. Apple held their first special event at the new Apple Park campus where they announced the new iPhone 8, iPhone X and the Apple Watch Series 3. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It will be weeks before we get our hands on Apple’s new iPhone X. The phone doesn’t even become available for preorders until Oct. 27, with deliveries not slated to begin until Nov. 3.

Yet history may well mark Sept. 12, when it was unveiled, as the beginning of the end of the Smartphone Era.

Sure, phones will be around for a long time yet, and Apple will sell a ton of iPhone Xs—even at eye-popping prices starting at $999. But the iPhone X reinforces the notion that phones are destined to recede in importance. More and more, it’s their function, rather than the physical object itself, that will take center stage, while their core technologies are absorbed into other products and venues.

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