Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Mar 31, 2012 23:25 UTC (Sat) by anselm
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Unless you can explain why the same people who abandoned “boring, stable platforms” on mobile (BlackBerry, PalmOS, Symbian, etc)and went with “oooh, shiny” iOS and Android will do the opposite on desktop this theory looks suspicious.
That's easy. On a conceptual level, people understand phones much better than they understand desktop PCs. Mobile phones started out as phones that weren't screwed to your wall, then at some point you could use them when you were away from home, and then in small incremental steps they grew extras such as MP3 players, calendars, little games and so on. Eventually they got web browsers and then apps. (Do remember that the first iPhone didn't actually have native apps except from Apple.) Even so their users perceive them as »mobile phones«, not as »mobile computers whose thousands of features incidentally include the ability to place and receive phone calls«, which is, technically, what they really are these days.
Desktop PCs, on the other hand, are big and ugly machines that tend to malfunction in any of a myriad different ways or get viruses so you have to find somebody to fix them for you because they're much too difficult to fix by yourself. People like their computers to »just work« because that is a very precarious state which can change completely at no notice whatsoever (in the worst case, visit the wrong web site just once and ka-boom, there it goes) and is a big hassle to get right again. Phones, like most appliances, are generally a lot more reliable than desktop PCs and so people are a lot more open to small incremental additions that seem fun and exciting because, hey, whatever happens you can still make phone calls.
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