It was May 30, 2007 when an out-of-touch innovator named Jeff Hawkins unleashed his latest creation upon the world.
It was called the Foleo and was billed as the “first smartphone companion.”
It was a PDA tarted-up in a netbook form factor that — and here’s the Hawkins being out-of-touch bit — couldn’t handle YouTube video playback!
Here’s two of the marketing images for it:
Following that same exact impulse, Asus today unleashed something even worse than the Foleo: The Padfone.
Unlike the Foleo, it does not link to a smartphone wirelessly. No. You must open a hatch and shove the thing inside of a tablet!
Like a shark opening its maw to eat a fish. And then, when your tableteering session is over, you must open the hatch and wrestle to disgorge your phone from the shark’s bowels.
Here is what the real-world usage will be like:
User: Oh, let me show you this photo I took. Let me pull my phone out of my shirt pocket.
Hot Girl: OK…
User: Ah, look at this!
Hot Girl: Um, that screen’s too small to see much.
User: Wait. Let me pull this tablet out of my manbag.
Hot Girl: OK. While you’re doing that, can I use your phone to make a call?
User: Um…. no.
Hot Girl: Why not?
User: Wait. I’m still pulling the tablet out of my manbag.
Hot Girl: ….
User: OK, now watch this. Give me the phone.
Hot Girl: Why can’t I make a call?
User: Wait. Just let me have the phone.
Hot Girl: I’ll only be a minute. Let me use the phone.
User: But I want to show you that photo.
Hot Girl: Fine, you use that iPad to show me while I make a quick call.
User: Wait. That’s not how this works.
Hot Girl: OK, here’s your damn phone.
User: OK, now watch this. [clumsily shoves phone in tablet]
Hot Girl: Wait. That’s not an iPad? It’s just a big screen for the phone?
Hot Girl: You’re such a loser.
Yeah, that’ll work out. Not!
While I have a great deal of respect for Asus, my advice to them is not to commit to a large run on this product.
And what’s irony +1 about this?
It was Asus’ announcement of its netbook that killed the Foleo!