This was a year that saw iPhone sales fall flat, perhaps signalling the end of a successful run for Apple’s flagship device.

People will continue to buy them, make no mistake about it. They just won’t ever again buy them in the record numbers Apple has grown accustomed to.

And this quiet development does have me wondering what might take the place of mobile phones as the next consumer piece of tech everyone has to have.

The iPhone’s successor in terms of iconic status may not be known for years, however.

While trends can sometimes identify or provide hints at what’s to come, on most occasions the forces that are accidents, stuff and timing combine to help best predict the arrival of products and services we can’t live without.

It is fun to take guesses, though.

An easy one would be robots for the home. We’re possibly already in the process of this happening.

Largely reduced to living in the isolated confines of our homes, why shouldn’t this lifestyle eventually become reality with Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana and Alexa having laid the groundwork for further social detachment with their growing entrenchment?

I would suggest the only thing that might forestall the rise of the machines would be if robots’ appearances continue to be less than human-like.

Personally, I don’t want a robot that looks like a Dyson.

I prefer the full Monty.

If I can’t at least describe home robots with the word “eerily”–as in eerily life-like, then I don’t want a robot in the house. Maybe that’s just me, but with unsocial media driving society’s exodus from in-person interaction, I’d like a robot that delivers up to at least 95 percent life-like appearance quality.

You could have a family of human beings living under the same roof and one of them could be an artificial human that would in effect become part of the “real” family. Robots might eventually transcend their current Hoover-like appearances and blur the lines between real and not so real people.

That would be my preference.

Another thing I’d like to have happen once robots in the home become commonplace, is for anyone who is currently a bad wrapper to become a very good one.

Now, some of you may think I’m speaking of wrap music, or rap music, but I’m neither speaking of music nor of rap. I’m speaking of wrap–as in present wrapping.

I’m self-diagnosed with the all too common affliction that is bad wrapping. I can’t neatly or nicely wrap a present for the life of me. Presents that I have personally wrapped are easy to distinguish. The corners are like the poor angles that bad carpenters proliferate. This puts it mildly, though. What I’m thinking would be nice would be a milk shake that comes in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry varieties that once consumed would deliver the ability to wrap very well for the next four to six hours.

I know that’s asking a lot, but maybe it could happen.