Katie Hafner

And that’s just fine with her, until she finds herself among friends whose iPhones are studded with icons. When a fellow iPhone owner asked recently to see her apps, she grew self-conscious. “I said to him, ‘O.K., now I’m officially feeling like a loser,’ ” she recalled.

But that doesn’t mean that people will change their habits. Actually, it may just make them feel a tad more overwhelmed. The next generation of gadget users might prove different, but for now it is clear that people prefer fewer choices, and that they gravitate consistently toward the same small number of things that they like. Owners of iPhones are no different from cable TV subscribers with hundreds of channels to choose from who end up watching the same half-dozen.

A study last year by Pinch Media found that most people stop using their applications pretty quickly, particularly if those apps are free. And three out of every four applications people download are free, even though analysts say that Apple and its developers receive $1 billion a year in revenue from selling applications (Apple itself won’t say).

1 thought on “Katie Hafner

  1. s.A

    When Phones Are Just Too Smart

    by Katie Hafner

    The New York Times

    Katie Hafner is the author of "Texting May Be Taking a Toll" (another New York Times article)


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