Technically a meaningless term by now, smartphone is used as a marketing buzzword to make the consumer feel smart if she keeps up employing her financial resources and personal time to consume online.
The object of the consumption are hardware gadgets, connection time, apps (mostly designed for the dummies who can’t use the web), online entertainment, and especially in-app purchasing, one of the killer marketing applications of the 2000s, first popularized by Apple.
In the process, people also consume most of their cognitive bandwidth, which, consistently with what Jon Zittrain anticipated, is directed to playing the games conceived by astute marketeers, and almost never aimed at expanding one’s competence.
As with most digital technologies, one to five percent of people are leveraging smartphones to gain power and/or expand knowledge, while the other 95% are but blind consumers. And the consumer is “a prey in the Supranet jungle”…
Mastery of technology, whether it be digital, financial, biotech, or materials’, is what generates the increasing income inequality to be observed worldwide. Take a look at the portion of people who can use technologies (instead of just being used through them), and you’ll get a proxy of the portion of people who are getting richer and richer.
[Written on the day that “smartphone sales surpassed feature phones”, whatever that means]