It wasn't long ago that the landline was an essential staple of every household and every office. But the future of the once vaunted technology appears grim.
A survey of senior information technology executives reveals that employers see a not-so-distant future in which the landline is buried six feet under. 65% of CIOs in a Virgin Media Business study belive the desk telephone will become redundant as a result of ubiquitous smartphone adoption.
What's interesting to note is that almost as many executives - 62% - believe the PC will disappear around the same time. Some think the PC will stay, though, and that tablets - which most would expect to replace PCs should PCs die - will fall out of fashion as quickly as they came: 24% of executives surveyed believe they will be gone from the workplace in five years.
Smartphones are seen as the least likely devices to face abandonment in the office, according to Virgin.
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“The pace of change with technology is having a transformative effect on the way we work," says Tony Grace of Virgin. "A decade ago it would have been unthinkable to suggest an office without telephones. Now it’s hard to imagine being separated from our smartphones."
"The public switch telephone network will be closed down, it's about as relevant as morse code," explained Peter Cochrane, a futurologist, to the Telegraph. "Optical fibre will replace landlines and most devices will connect using wireless. But the landlines can't go until there is wireless connectivity to replace it. There won't be wireless connectivity to replace it until there is optical fibre available to offices and homes in sufficent density."
He added that "the PC is a dying species. You have got to look forward to all personal computers disappearing. You can expect to see tablets and iPads starting to transcend the laptop."