I picked up a guitar tuner app for iPhone. It was, uh, 2-3 bucks, maybe $4.
I just wanted a backup for gigs, in case the tuner I already have dies. I have one already and it works great. The iPhone-based tuner will never be that convenient! No way.
But the iPhone app is pretty damn good for what it is. It’s more than good enough for practicing or jamming, anyway, and since most guitar tuners are owned by people who only need something for practicing and jamming, that portends dark things for the guitar tuner industry.
A physical guitar tuner today costs $15-$50. They’re a thriving little market, since they get beat up and have to be replaced, and there’s plenty of competition in features. But no more. The high end will still be needed, but not the low end that accounts for the bulk of units. This industry has no future.
Electronic guitar tuners are a pretty young product. They only become common about ten years ago. That puts the lifespan at something like 2000-2015. RIP.