Daring Fireball: If You Come at the King

April 24, 2023

Daring Fireball: If You Come at the King:

We still don’t know much about Humane’s device, as Wong’s colleague at Inverse Ian Carlos Campbell notes in this follow-up piece. But everything we do know seems positioned around the notion of relieving us of the burden of being tethered to our iPhones all day every day. The fundamental flaw in Humane’s entire premise, as I see it, is that people don’t feel burdened by their phones. People love them — especially iPhone owners. And those who are ambivalent or even downright antipathetic toward their phones surely aren’t the sort of people who are interested in a newfangled laser-projecting AI-driven chest-badge computer.

I wrote about this all the way back in 2010, in the era of the iPhone 4, when Microsoft debuted a high-budget ad campaign for their answer to the iPhone, Windows Phone 7. The ads were very entertaining — particularly this one — but the whole premise was fundamentally flawed. Microsoft’s message was that if you switched to Windows Phone you wouldn’t need to stare at your phone all the time. The problem is that people stare at their phones all the time not because they have to but because they want to.

“Finally, you can replace this thing that you despise” is a powerful marketing message. “Finally, you can replace this thing that you love” is not.

Most people who seem most exicted about this seem to be Android users who hate actually using their phones.

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