saccade.com writes "EE Times has a fascinating article on how electronics companies are being sucked into a profitless spiral by the cell phone market. More and more of the small consumer gadgets are being folded into the phone: camera, music player, PDA, GPS, etc. So the market for non-phone gadgets is slowly going away as the phone picks up more functions. However, consumers don't buy most phones; they are given away (or sold very cheap) by the service providers as hooks to get people to sign up for mobile service. So the service providers are demanding (and getting) rock-bottom prices for fancy phones they can give away, and the micro chip companies are forced into brutal competition for a market that is shrinking into a single commodity gadget, the phone."