The Alarm Clock Is The iPhone’s Real Killer App

The Alarm Clock Is The iPhone’s Real Killer App

Forget the laptop or the BlackBerry… the device the iPhone most often replaces is the alarm clock on your nightstand.

U.K. carrier O2 decided to survey its users to determine which devices iPhones or other smartphones commonly replace in the lives of its customers. The most commonly replaced device turned out to be one of the more low-tech devices in daily life – the alarm clock.

54% of O2’s iPhone and smartphone customers have relegated their alarm clocks to the dustbin of history.

The second most commonly replaced device was also a time-keeping device: the watch.

On the one hand, the results for the watch don’t seem too surprising. In fact, the most surprising thing to me is that only 46% of users said their phone had replaced their watch.

The last time I wore a watch on a daily basis was a decade ago and the only reason I wore one then was because it was a gift from someone I was dating at the time. Mobile phones began replacing watches well before the advent of the smartphone or the iPhone. That said, there’s a certain irony to the fact that the current iPod nano has reintroduced the wristwatch to some extent.

An iPhone replacing the alarm clock isn’t too surprising, either.

After all, an iPhone gives you a choice of ring tones, which are often much more appealing than the harsh buzz you get from most alarm clocks. An iPhone also gives you the ability to easily set multiple alarms, which is useful if you’re like me and tend to hit the snooze button a few too many times each morning. Having a second alarm with a different ringtone that signifies you really need to get up can be very effective.

What was a bit surprising was the number of O2’s customers who said that a smartphone had replaced their need for a laptop. While the iPad is typically cited with stealing notebook market share, O2 noted that 28% of its smartphone customers felt that their phone had done away with the need for a laptop.

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  • mr_bee

    I’ve tried using the iPhone for an Alarm clock many times but I always end up putting it back in the living room where it belongs.

    It’s too bright, too noisy, takes to long to turn off, and worst of all it will wake you up every five minutes all night long with the notifications etc.

    Maybe when they put the do not disturb settings into iOS 6 it will work, but for now it’s not an option, at least for me.

  • B066Y

    I’ve tried using the iPhone for an Alarm clock many times but I always end up putting it back in the living room where it belongs.

    It’s too bright, too noisy, takes to long to turn off, and worst of all it will wake you up every five minutes all night long with the notifications etc.

    Maybe when they put the do not disturb settings into iOS 6 it will work, but for now it’s not an option, at least for me.

    You must be a pretty light sleeper if notifications wake you up. I haven’t used a “real” alarm clock in 10 years. Of course, I’m a selectively light sleeper…I can sleep through my phones ringtone and my wife telling me to stop snoring but if my alarm goes off or if there is a unusual noise in the house I’m wide awake.

    Also you don’t have to have the clock display all night to use a smartphone as an alarm clock.

  • B066Y

    I’ve tried using the iPhone for an Alarm clock many times but I always end up putting it back in the living room where it belongs.

    It’s too bright, too noisy, takes to long to turn off, and worst of all it will wake you up every five minutes all night long with the notifications etc.

    Maybe when they put the do not disturb settings into iOS 6 it will work, but for now it’s not an option, at least for me.

    You must be a pretty light sleeper if notifications wake you up. I haven’t used a “real” alarm clock in 10 years. Of course, I’m a selectively light sleeper…I can sleep through my phones ringtone and my wife telling me to stop snoring but if my alarm goes off or if there is a unusual noise in the house I’m wide awake.

    Also you don’t have to have the clock display all night to use a smartphone as an alarm clock.

  • DistilUnion

    Hey Ryan – I use my iPhone as my alarm, but the I agree with mr_bee that the experience isn’t so great (accidental alarm shut-offs, knocking my iPhone onto the floor, losing the charging cable behind the nightstand, etc.)… so our team invented “Snooze” – it’s a bedside dock for your iPhone and cable, with a HUGE rubber snooze button on top! Fellow snoozers can learn more and help us go into production on our Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/MNGE72

  • MarkLinthicum

    This is something I have thought for years, but what about the Clock Radio killer as well? The app Beautiful Clock Radio does this for me. Completely replaces my clock radio now.

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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