Does Apple force you to buy a new iPhone?
Apple has been accused of significantly slowing down older models through updates in order to force users to upgrade to the next iPhone.
When September rolls around you know Apple will release a new iPhone. I love Apple and hate Microsoft. I have been in the tech field for 25 years and ditched microsoft for good in 2009. I use all Apple in my studio. Although I love Apple, I will not wait in line to purchase the newest and shiniest Apple iPhone. There are reasons for this. I don’t have money to buy a new iphone every year and nor do I want or need one. Second, it’s too trendy and I don’t care what anyone else does. There are also no features I need with a new release, as Apple rarely comes out with anything new that’s groundbreaking and needed by me. If it’s not broken then why should I fix it? I resigned myself to only buy something when I need something and spending $800 every year on an iphone is not that.
I keep my iPhones one and two versions back. The iPhone 8 was announced this week and I’m still very happy with my iphone 6. I would have kept my iphone 5s but since my eyes are getting older, the iphone 6 plus works really well for me with the large screen. So there is one great reason for my upgrade.
Coincidentally, a few months ago, my iPhone didn’t respond when I touched the screen. Only a reboot or complete shutdown resolved the issue until the next time. The phone then started to freeze and think about what I had just pressed. I wiped the iphone and started from scratch twice, which did nothing.
Two weeks before the iPhone 8 was announced, my iPhone’s battery started to deplete rapidly regardless of charging technique. I let the battery go to 0% and die off before charging to 100% to refresh the battery and the same thing happened. Regardless of charging cord used, the iphone would charge sporadically. This morning the battery went from 21% to 19% to dead before I got off the elevator.
Coincidence the week of the iPhone 8 release? This happens every year and I deal with it. I am not the only one complaining about this issue. Think about it. What is Apple’s biggest selling product? The IPhone. Without yearly Iphone sales, Apple wouldn’t make the millions (or more) they do every month. Without force breaking our phones with corrupt updates, causing our iPhones to run slow, fail, have bad connection, etc, most people wouldn’t buy their product.
I refuse to buy a new iPhone just because it’s launched. Apple relies on their new shiny product line to make insane money off each of us. Think about this. When the iphone 4 was released, how much was it? A LOT. A few years later AT&T was selling it for $49. $49 from $499 or $599 a few years prior?! Are they still making a profit on that $49? I’m sure they are. Their products are also said to be shoddy by techs, as Apple wants us to think they use the best and only the best, which is not the case.
Like clockwork, Apple has released a new iPhone once yearly since it first unveiled the flagship smartphone in 2007. The product cycle is so fast, rumours about the iPhone 8 began circulating the web even before Apple had unveiled the new iPhone 7. People are tripping over each other to get the new shiny item they don’t need.
Apple is constantly under fire for engaging in a marketing practice known as “planned obsolescence” – a method of making products with shorter lifespans, or making current generation products seem obsolete in order to sell a “new and improved” version.
A petition created by online consumer group SumOfUS in July accused Apple of “sabotaging” devices with software upgrades designed to significantly slow down older models and force users to upgrade.
“Anyone with a perfectly functional iPhone or iPad bought two years ago would do well to ignore the prompts to ‘Install Now,’” read the petition.
“But Apple will be pushing upgrade notices to millions of those customers anyway, because every frustrated user with a sluggish device is another sales prospect.”
The petition has since been signed by over 300,000 users urging Apple to extend the lifespan of their devices.
What is planned obsolescence?
The concept of planned obsolescence is not new – the marketing tactic was popularized in the 1920’s by Alfred Sloan, president of General Motors, when he created “model years” for cars.
It started with the 1923 Chevrolet. The car itself featured a new exterior and flashy cosmetic features, but the framework and mechanics were exactly the same as the cars GM had been producing for years. Adding the model year to the name made the product seem desirable and new, despite the lack of changes.
But the entire tech industry – not just Apple – is often accused of using planned obsolescence thanks to consumer demand for things like smartphones and laptops.
“As business became our dominate paradigm, we’ve adapted to this idea that change and innovation is the most important thing in the world,” Joanne McNeish, associate professor of marketing at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management, told Global News.
The tech industry has operated unregulated, for the most part, so they set their own rules and businesses usually set rules that are advantageous to them. The smart phone market in particular tends to drive planned obsolescence because the market is so competitive.
Apple’s brand persona is very arrogant – it attracts people’s attention.
“It’s something they are renowned for and it comes from a place in their brand where they say, ‘This is what’s best for you.’”
But, if the SumOfUs petition is any indication, a growing number of consumers seem to have had enough with Apple telling them what’s best.
A smart phone that keeps consumers satisfied for five years doesn’t exist
“We’ve entered a world where having the latest, most capable phone in our pockets is something that’s expected – it’s not a luxury,” said Neil Bearse, director of marketing at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business.
It certainly feels like Apple isn’t coming up with mind-blowing breakthroughs lately. There’s a big difference between lusting after tech that really seems better and feeling like you’re being forced to “upgrade” to something that’s just slightly better.
I realize it’s not every year Apple is going to come out with some mind-blowing technology such as time travel or hologram display. That’s perfectly fine, although many people expect massive mind-blowing change. Regardless of the change, don’t force us to purchase something we don’t need or can’t afford by sabotaging our current perfectly good iPhones.
I never thought I’d say this but the iPhone 7 will be my last iphone. I plan on ditching my cell phone altogether and using this iphone 7 under wi-fi for email, surfing the web and Skype phone calls. I’ll get a skype phone number for use when I’m in wifi. I’m always in wifi. The only issue is when I’m in the car or somewhere with no wifi and can’t make calls. For that I may get a really cheap pay as you go phone, since I rarely use the phone anyway.
I canceled cable tv 2 years ago and haven’t had a house phone in 20 years. Losing my cell phone won’t be a problem at all. One less bill and no loss. I’m not brainwashed and don’t need what they make us think we need.
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