Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

You Can’t Live Without Your iPhone! Because That’s How You Tell if It’s Raining.

Maybe you were wondering if this whole “mobile phone” thing was going to take off. Question answered! People love these things, it turns out.

This update comes from the Online Publishers Association, which has some fresh market data via a March survey. Most Internet users are still more attached to their laptops (67 percent) or TVs (62 percent) than to any other media-delivery device. But not all Internet users have smartphones. Among those who do, 68 percent say it’s a gadget they “cannot live without.”

The OPA represents lots of big Web publishers, and the real thrust of the research it’s showing off here is supposed to make big Web publishers feel okay about mobile.

The takeaway is supposed to be that people love their phones, they love getting information from their phones, and they’re happy to pay for some of that information. And they’re happy to look at ads. Phew!

You should be able to see more excerpts at the OPA’s site, but I just wanted to highlight a few other slides here. For instance, while I’m not surprised to see more than 90 percent of respondents choosing “access information” as their most common activity on their phone, I am surprised to see that the information is more likely … a weather report. Huh. No word on tomato soup ordering, though.

And while the OPA research repeats two bits of conventional app wisdom — most apps people download are free, and iPhone users are much more likely to pay for an app than Android users — I was surprised to see iPhone users claim that they’re much more into ads, period.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work