I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Subway gadget survey

I ride the New York subway every day, and I see a lot of trendy gadgets. New York consumers tend to adopt portable technology early and are much less price-sensitive than most of the country. (Our cost of living is so much higher that nationally constant prices are comparatively low — $300 was two weeks’ rent in Pittsburgh, but that would only buy a few days in most New York apartments, so a gadget that costs $300 is comparatively less expensive here relative to incomes and the other costs in our lives.)

Today, John Gruber said about this Palm Pre poor-sales speculation:

Anecdotally, I haven’t seen a single Pre in use in real life.

The subway is a great sample of the generally upper segment of the market. Here’s roughly what I’ve seen since the Pre’s release:

Among the iPhone OS devices, many people have multiple pages of apps. I assumed that most casual iPhone users would stick to the default set, but that hasn’t been prevalent.

The most frequent activities on iPhone OS devices are, in this order:

  1. Listening to music
  2. Using Mail (iPhones only)
  3. Playing a game (casual, non-action games have clear dominance, such as Solitaire and Sudoku)
  4. Watching video (usually a popular, recognizable TV show or movie)
  5. Using Stanza or Kindle (I can’t often tell the difference)
  6. Using another non-game app

(I still haven’t spotted someone using Instapaper, but some coworkers have. That’s why I keep looking to see what everyone’s doing on their iPhones. Hey, at least I’m honest about my vanity searches.)

Some interesting conclusions I can draw from this admittedly unscientific, imprecise, and limited sample:

Most importantly, it’s very clear that Windows and Palm aren’t in this game anymore.