"Smart Phones", over-hyped innovation, "tax" collection devices, and you...

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circuitbored
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"Smart Phones", over-hyped innovation, "tax" collection devices, and you...

Post by circuitbored »

I don't mean to sound like a snob, but your smart phone isn't all that impressive to me. Sure it can do a lot of things based on how much you're willing to pay, but seriously, those things mean nothing once your battery runs low, or if you lose your phone in the mall. Tech companies still have not managed to make a computer that is guaranteed to not crash, much less a phone that works without dropping calls or bad connections.


I don't think I'm being unreasonable in saying that what's being promoted to the public as "innovation" [in terms of mobile smart phones] is NOT truly innovation. The word "innovation", as its used by companies today in reference to mobile phones is more based on the new ways in which they can "milk your wallet". Smart phones are not smart if I can't communicate from them on my home PC [via the Internet] to create contact backups or to keep one central contact list. I should be able to backup my entire phone [from my phone] without having to use wires and shoddy software at this point in mobile evolution. I have been using touch screens on ATMs for over a decade now, I'm really not impressed that phones can be manipulated by touching a screen... Things that would impress me end up being more functional and useful features rather than flashy design commercials with kitschy music and a well laid out branding campaign. I care less about the company than I do about the phone and how it will help me deal and cope with my increasingly hectic life.



When it comes to technology, what impresses me is quite simple. First of all for the phone to work, to be durable, and to be reliable as a pre-requisite. I love the fact that I can watch YouTube on my BlackBerry, a few years ago I though that video on my phone, much less Internet would have never happened. I can view web sites, I can maintain a calendar of appointments and I can also spend extra money on top of my phone bill for thousands of applications that range from silly to moderately useful. I hope I will never have to pay extra for "apps" that provide those standard services. At this point, in order to justify a price of $300+, and to flaunt the title of being truly "revolutionary" a mobile phone should be solar powered, it should back itself up wirelessly, it should never [ever] lose my contacts or data files, The battery should last for days and be "swappable", I should be allowed to track my phone when its lost by a unique serial number through a secure portal based on my registered phone number, The phone should also be able to project a larger screen on any wall in order to watch free [local] digital TV channels, It should also be able to store my important documents [encrypted of course] and I should be able to trade music, video, and files with friends and from my computer wirelessly over a reliable peer-to-peer network among other things.

Yes I'm a tough customer, but for give me, I don't believe that Apple finally adding a "camera flash" to the iPhone 4G is buzzworthy. I think in fact that its a distraction from making phones truly better, and it also serves to lower expectations for innovation.

We have become so engaged into tunnel vision when it comes to technology, and we add profit making and greed on top of this vision. When CNN writes about the latest Apple product, millions of people flock to read about it, reinforcing the idea of spending your money as a sign of being on the "cutting edge". Loyalty to the cult of Apple involves spending money with strings attached because you buy a base phone, then you're at the mercy of what you can afford. I actually believe that its better instead for Apple to just raise the initial price of the phone even more, then to add access to all apps for free, because that adds more transparency to pricing for buyers, and prevents the iPhone from being a tax collection device.

A lot of people are fleeced by buying smart phones and then realizing that the best "app" it comes with is one for your credit card to send off more of your money for pricey extra "features" that you'll really need...
When you buy a car, you buy the base model, and then pay on top of the car's base price for additional options you desire. Often the car comes with options you didn't really want, but you can be encouraged to overlook either by a slick salesman or a price reduction via negotiation. This relates to tangible things most times like floor mats, a better stereo system, a sunroof, etc... How would you feel if you were required to pay a monthly fee for having your sunroof open? Or an upgrade fee for the software on your radio? Or if you had to pay for things that were once included before, like windshield wipers? This... Is exactly what's happening to the software development, and mobile phone industries. Is it wrong? Probably.

In the traditionally sound Capitalist market, the smart man takes one bag [containing 6 oranges] and rips it open, then selling each orange individually at a marked-up price. There is no problem in doing that provided his margin is reasonable and he isn't the only one selling oranges. If the same guy has a monopoly on oranges [or "Apples" for that matter] and he corners the market, charging any price he deems fit for oranges, and binding people into committed 2 year contracts to his oranges I am sure that many of his customers would be up in arms. This is the current state of the mobile phone market. These days, not only do you pay for your new phone, you pay for a pre-set service provider, and you are limited to applications controlled and influenced by the seller, that you'll have to buy individually for fixed prices, which [of course] you will have to re-purchase if your phone is lost or stolen. The iPhone is restricted to AT&T as its service carrier until 2012. These prices also never reflect the ideal that though the game Tetris is over 20 years old, it still merits being sold for $6 dollars a pop. This is not a good future outlook for you as the consumer. Prices are supposed to decline over time for software, not to exponentially increase.


As we move into a new era where your privacy disappears, and your free time is spent maintaining multiple social media sites and deleting incriminating pictures of yourself that people have uploaded of you, recall the age of innocence... when people actually talked in person... where people went outside and actually did stuff, like roller skating, bowling, and playing checkers [offline].

Take the time to step back and realize that you don't have to be trapped into a "closed circle" of technology dependence, and that not everything that a company sells to you is truly "innovative" just because they said it is. See past the hype and carefully choose what you support because companies should be dependent on YOUR choices rather than you as a consumer being dependent on THEIR commitment contracts and arbitrary pricing. Long live open source, and companies that focus on true innovation to make the world a better place, rather than those that seek to steer you into depending on them and not having a choice.

Don't buy products that aren't truly innovative and reliable, it only encourages companies to be lazy with their R&D. If you don't believe me, check out the words of one of the most influential people in the world on the state of "over-hyped" technology here: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/pro-bl ... d=10604316

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