Friday, January 17, 2014

The Smartphone Has Effectively Replaced All The Technology Offered In This 1991 Radio Shack Ad

Three cheers for free market innovation!

Here's a 1991 Radio Shack ad:

Steve Cichon of, points out that of the 15 items for sale, here’s what his iPhone has rendered obsolete:

All weather personal stereo, $11.88. I now use my iPhone with an Otter Box.
AM/FM clock radio, $13.88. iPhone.
In-Ear Stereo Phones, $7.88. Came with iPhone.
Microthin calculator, $4.88. Swipe up on iPhone.
Tandy 1000 TL/3, $1599. I actually owned a Tandy 1000, and I used it for games and word processing. I now do most of both of those things on my phone.
VHS Camcorder, $799. iPhone.
Mobile Cellular Telephone, $199. Obvs.
Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says “You’ll never drive ‘alone’ again!” iPhone.
20-Memory Speed-Dial phone, $29.95.
Deluxe Portable CD Player, $159.95. 80 minutes of music, or 80 hours of music? iPhone.
10-Channel Desktop Scanner, $99.55. I still have a scanner, but I have a scanner app, too. iPhone.
Easiest-to-Use Phone Answerer, $49.95. iPhone voicemail.
Handheld Cassette Tape Recorder, $29.95. I use the Voice Memo app almost daily.
BONUS REPLACEMENT: It’s not an item for sale, but at the bottom of the ad, you’re instructed to ‘check your phone book for the Radio Shack Store nearest you.’ Do you even know how to use a phone book?
Note well: This all took place with limited to no regulation of these sectors.

( Via the Consumerist)


  1. $1599 for a computer that has a minute fraction of the computing power of my phone. Outstanding.

    God bless the free market!

  2. I always get a good laugh when I look back at ads of old technology

  3. And may soon replace Radio Shack...

  4. Should I bother to point out that you could use any of those items without worrying about everything being sent directly to the NSA for analysis and future exploitation...

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