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Smartphones on sale! Heavily discounted! Get a smartphone free with your dataplan two-year contract! And an order of fries!!
A long time ago, people buying the PC were given free software as an enticement. This meant that everyone had access to incredible software, making the PC complex to use and to understand. Add in some early Windows interface issues, like screenfuls of icons, and soon, it's a challenge to remember the access sequence needed to open an everyday tool. Add to this the security and performance drag caused by "free--like a puppy" kruftware, and the PC is an unwieldy mess. New.
Imagine my pain when I'm asked to pay hundreds for a "smartphone" that comes with four panels of kruftware that can only be removed after "rooting" the phone. At least the PC left me in charge of my own purchased device. But Smartphones, as we read before, are the "Now" thing. Let's focus on Smartphones.
As the masses migrate to Smartphones, this may tempt some to play "follow the market". That's a seemingly ruinous path. Most Smartphones offer limited abilities while having an 18 month or so lifespan for resell--making your two-year contract a dubious investment. Data input on Smartphones remains challenging, with that tiny form-factor limiting use. And many Smartphones are sealed architectures, making it impossible to do basic performance upgrades, including replacing the aging and increasingly flaky battery.
And who is the market for these "rent-to-own" devices? Surprisingly, many respected professionals get these. Mobile professionals want to carry a small, lightweight device. They want a device that lets them keep up on email, maybe check the calendar, and maybe jot some notes on their past meeting. And this is the rub: data input on tiny keying surfaces that gets mangled by auto-correct rewrites, rewrites that happen suddenly, without warning!, after you've gone into the next paragraph, this data input to often reads like an email from Jack Kerouac.
But many, many other people buying Smartphones like to keep up with Facebook puppy picture postings while spending the day defeating Candy Crush. For these people, the PC interface and greater professional abilities are uncertain advantages. Plus, who doesn't love the "rent-to-own" plan that Smartphones offer? And who doesn't want to impress others with their NOTICEABLE use of the latest smartphone, especially the one that displays the crushed candies on the side of the display?
The market for PCs has been the business professional, the information miner, the scientist or engineer needing to conduct a lot of information sharing in a ten-hour day. For this target, making the PC's many hardware formats the centerpiece of a digital life is a strong, possibly compelling, factor.
But how's that message articulated to a crowd of busy people who are bedazzled by so many smartphone ads? More on this later.
P.S. I still get nothing and still want nothing from PC or other IT vendors.
P.P.S. I'm working on a plan to lose my Smartbrick for security and cost reasons. If so, you'll be the first to know. My challenge? Smartbricks/phones have a shelf life of bananas at the local grocery store. You'll seldom recup the investment. As little a wait as three weeks can severely drop the resell value. After all, Smartbricks are all about appearances. New one comes out? Who wants to be seen with the smartphone equivalent of a Mullet haircut?
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