Some Pay Phones Are Now Giant, Slow Smartphones

Imagine the strange smudges. Photo: City24x7/New York Department of Information of Technology and Telecommunications

The gradual phasing out of archaic telephones (with cords!) on the streets of New York City is underway, with 32-inch touchscreens now live at a few locations in lower Manhattan. Despite having sixteen apps, all of which are free to use, it’s still a hard sell, the New York Times reports: “of the scores of people who walked by over the course of a couple hours — many of them buried in their smartphones — only a few stopped to try out the SmartScreen.” A 56-year-old psychotherapist did use the machine to find something to eat near Union Square yesterday, but quipped, “If it loaded quicker, it would be fabulous,” which is pretty rich coming from a guy who probably still has a Razr.