By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm
On my way home from Verizon’s iPhone event in New York–I returned to the John F. Kennedy International Airport seven hours after I left it–I wanted to sit down for a moment at the international terminal. Once again, the most convenient place to perch was at a fancy online-enabled pay phone from 1991 which I discovered during a trip last August. Back then, the phone had AT&T signage, was missing most of its keys, and didn’t work. I wasn’t sure if it had been in operational condition anytime this millennium, in fact.
This time, the phone showed signs that it wasn’t an orphan. The AT&T branding was gone, replaced by that of GTL (a company which appears to specialize in providing phones to prisons). And the keyboard had been repaired (mostly: the “3” and “5” keys were missing)
But the phone still didn’t work–no display, no dial tone, no nothing. I wonder when anyone wanted to use it–at least for a purpose other than making a voice call–and was frustrated by its sad condition?