“by plugging into the address book, camera, photo library, notifications etc the frictional barriers to doing a new social app fade away: the smartphone is a social platform in the same way that Facebook is. The obvious expression of this is WhatsApp and similar things that directly address the core Facebook use cases. But it seems to me that there’s at least as much potential in doing things that use the platform without trying to take over a core use case – things like throwing sheep. That is, the smartphone social platform enables a lot of experimentation with new ideas and behaviors that don’t need to be your core comms channel and that would never have worked on the web, and (for a bunch of reasons) might not have been possible on the desktop Facebook platform.”
“While a classic thin architecture moves processing to the server, enabling cheaper clients, those clients still have a GUI, mouse and keyboard. In other words, the experience is largely the same as a fat client, minus the superior performance and responsiveness. Tablets, however, are orthogonal to PCs; they are inferior in some ways (performance, text entry), but superior in others (size, battery life, touch). They have a reason-to-own other than price.
Thinking about capabilities beyond processing casts Microsoft’s Windows 8 troubles in stark relief. Windows 8, with it’s mixture of touch and WIMP-interface is the ultimate fat client. But by combining so many capabilities, it necessarily compromises them as well.
Today’s thin clients, on the hand, specialize. A pure tablet is superior for touch-based applications; a pure PC is superior for keyboard-and-mouse ones. An e-ink reader is superior for reading, and a 13-inch iPad would be superior for (in my case) drawing and making music. And while many people now use two devices, I think that’s only the beginning (I’m personally at four and the 13″ iPad would be number five).”
“What we need to recognize about today’s smartphone market is that although smartphones have high penetration in developed markets, we don’t have high penetration of mature smartphone owners. Many hundreds of millions of consumers are on their first or second smartphone; these customers have not yet had sufficient years of exposure to these devices for their preferences to coalesce. It makes sense, then, that we still see evidence in the market today of a certain percentage of people trying out different platforms in order to identify what they like and don’t like.”