December 06, 2011

Why I don't own a smartphone

And likely never will. Julian Assange spells out well all the snooping problems.

That said, I worry more about Big Business, either working on its own, or sucking off the Big Government teat, than I do about Big Government on its own. (I've always said that "Brave New World" will prove to be an even more prescient novel than "1984.")

There's several reasons for this, all related to the almighty dollar. And I say dollar, not yen, euro or even pound, because the U.S. is Ground Zero for hypercapitalism.

First is the "branding issue," most notably with Apple. When iPhone users are confronted with the type of information an Assange presents, cognitive dissonance sets in as many iPhone users await some bulletin from Apple to spin away all of Assange's claims.

Second is Google Ads for mobile phones, coupled with the latest GPS, etc. There's already talk about how, either partnered with straight-up coupon companies, a Groupon, or something even worse, an Android phone will spit out an on-screen coupon for the restaurant you're walking past. In the mall? Well, with Google Maps going inside them now, that's no escape.

Add in the rumored Amazon and Facebook smartphones of next year, and we have this problem in spades.

Reading a magazine at Barnes & Noble, with an Amazon phone in your pocket? Amazon spits out an ad saying you can get that mag for $XX on Kindle for smartphone. Meanwhile, even with its privacy agreement with the FTC, what if Facebook puts auto-updating software in its smartphone? I.e., Facebook creates its own "Yelp" and it's opt-out, not opt-in.

And, all these companies will do the marketing and branding, telling you how their smartphones are better at others on delivering those coupons, at ... "reading your mind," though they won't put it so crassly.

Got a smartphone already? Detox. Get away from the addiction.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

Why I don't have a smart phone? Because it's 30 extra dollars for a data plan I should try to not spend. I was just a little disappointed. Thanks for consoling me with the fact that it is just another way for marketers to invade my mind. I feel much better.