Adam Smith and the iPhone


Consumers have now had a few weeks to fiddle with their new iPhones — the latest “must-have” device that makes phone calls, plays music, schedules appointments and surfs the Web.

Two questions emerge: Do consumers gobble up gadgets actually intending to use all these dazzling functions? Is the iPhone another example of wasteful spending by consumers crushed with debt — or, is it the sharp edge of technological innovation and progress that will bear fruit over time?

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Copyright © 2007, Economist's View. This article first appeared in Economist's View (2007).

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