That Apple is a masterful company that easily dispenses with yesterday’s technology is a known fact. That Apple plans to make what you buy today obsolete is merely part of the company’s grand plan. Someone caught on to the scheme and sued Apple.
What’s New Is Dead, But Newer!
Planned obsolescence is a fact of life, a universal axiom that predates humankind, yet lives on in everything we buy, whether for use or ingestion.
How long would Apple stay in business if every new iPhone and iPad ran perfectly for 20 years?
Oh, and no more new features would be needed. Ever.
Product obsolescence is just the way it is, and we humans, for the most part, don’t have a problem with the march of technological progress.
That is, except for the Institute of Politics and Law Software in Brazil (AppleInsider has details). They’re taking issue with Apple’s iPad 4, which launched just months after the iPad 3.
How so? They claim Apple could have introduced all the same features– Lightning connector, faster CPU, improved camera, et al– in the iPad 3. The argument is ludicrous on its face, but anyone can sue anyone else for any reason.
It seems to me that Brazil’s crazy law practices could make it the France of South America, so you never know what will happen in a court case.
The reality is this. Brazil not withstanding, Apple is better at planned obsolescence than most technology companies. And it’s not that Apple is eager to discard old products and technology. They are.
The difference is this. Apple’s products tend to last longer than competitor’s products, and hold their value longer. Obsolescence is inevitable, but we don’t mind so long as the value of using the product remains high, at least relative to competition.
Apple is often accused of upgrading products too slowly, but throwing out old technology too quickly. By upgrading the iPad to a faster CPU, a better Face Time camera, and a new connector, Apple is being accused of upgrading products too quickly.
Here’s another reality. Apple isn’t required to ensure that iOS works perfectly well on iPhones or iPads that are a year old, or two years, or even four years old. The fact that iOS 6 does work on older devices is a credit to Apple’s philosophy and concern for the value customers put into their products.
Compare that method to what happens when you buy a smart phone that runs Android OS. Most customers will never get an upgrade to the latest version of Android OS, and somehow that’s OK to the Institute of Politics and Law Software in Brazil.
Relative to how Apple handles iOS upgrades, most Android OS users are being screwed royally, because cell phone carriers would prefer their customers upgrade by buying a new phone instead. Where’s the outcry? Where’s the outrage?
I have no doubt that Apple plans obsolescence into each product. But obsolescence may have a different meaning for some, hence the lawsuit in Brazil. After all, is it obsolete if the product still does exactly what was expected when it was purchased?