True, Windows PC users may upgrade their PCs, and by ‘upgrade’ I mean buy a new one, more frequently than Mac users, and they pass less for their new purchase than most of Apple’s customers, but it’s easy to see why. But it’s Apple that is the master of upgrades.
Of Software And Hardware
The smartphone industry is not the traditional PC industry. The latter suffers from modest gains in capability with each new software update and new hardware rollouts. The smartphone is different. Each year it gains in capability, functionality, and often the device is used far differently than desktop or laptop bound notebooks.
Smartphones take a lot of abuse, hence the need to get a new one every couple of years, but Apple has become a master at layering in new functionality with each new model to make an upgrade a richly compelling pleasure, rather than a treadmill where we work but go nowhere, while Apple profits.
Isn’t that exactly what Apple does? Every year Apple’s products are lathered with new and better, thinner and faster, different colors, and a handful of features and functions which work to diminish the value of last year’s purchase, and make a compelling upgrade path for what’s new.
Yet, at the same time, Apple’s ability to put the latest software onto older devices– Mac, iPhone, and iPad– is unparalleled in the industry. Nearly 80-percent of iPhone and iPad users have upgraded to the free iOS 9.x version, while Android’s latest OS, released a month before iOS 9, barely tops 1-percent of all Android devices. Why? Apple is better at upgrading software than any other smartphone, tablet, or PC maker.
Nearly every day of the workweek I’m treated to a little red icon badge which informs me that new app updates await me on my Mac, iPhone, or iPad (thank the digital gods for automatic background updates). Apple has the software side of the upgrade treadmill down to a science and we hamsters follow along with no complaints.
Here we are early in 2016 and here’s what I see on the upgrade treadmill horizon. It’s time for a new Mac, probably late spring when Apple pushes out ever faster CPUs, and perhaps a new color. I’m thinking pink gold. By late spring Apple will spring iOS 10 and OS X 10.12 Bakersfield onto awaiting masses, now numbering into the hundreds and hundreds of millions. Shortly after that we will anxiously await iPhone 7, iPad Air 3, and Watch 2.0. And we’ll buy them, try them, write about them, and like the hamster on the cage treadmill, we’ll keep on track to maintain Apple’s lock on the title of richest company in the world for yet another year.
Being an Apple customer might be a life on a treadmill, but consider the alternatives of frustration, anxiety, added expense, and lost productivity of those poor human hamsters who simply chose life on a different treadmill.