Why bother to buy any new product? After all, as soon as you buy it, the device is obsolete, right? Everyone knows that, amirite? No. That is not correct. Skipping a product upgrade or ignoring a new product is a personal issue.
Some say you should not buy a Lexus because you can buy two fully equipped Toyota Corollas instead, and still have money for a few weeks vacation in Hawaii. Come on, technology writers. That’s an argument that equates more with digital drivel. 2016 did not herald some directive to stop upgrading to the latest products. That’s looney.
iDo, Because iCan
Maybe you missed it. But sometime earlier this year 2016 was declared the year you don’t need a flagship smartphone. It’s also the year you don’t want to buy an iPad, line up for a new MacBook Pro, or even bother to floss your teeth.
For the cost of a brand new Google Pixel XL or iPhone 7 Plus, you can buy a pair of Huawei Mate 8s and still treat yourself to a decent dinner.
What you won’t get in those two Huawei Mates are all the extras Google stuffs into the Pixel XL (Google Assistant, excellent camera), and you won’t get all the built-in betterment that comes with iOS 10 (Sir, Messages, security and privacy, Genius Bar, Apple Store, etc.), so there’s that.
Getting by on a year-old device is hardly slumming it in 2016, in fact, the state of mobile hardware is resembling the real-life performance plateau that PCs have long exhibited — newer hardware is faster, but refreshing hardware because it cannot keep up with the latest apps is less and less of a factor.
Here’s the thing. Technology writers often deal with the latest and greatest, and that’s a good thing because somewhere around 25-percent of all smartphone owners are ready to upgrade after a few years of usage. The rest of us do not upgrade to the latest and greatest every year. I get five years out of my Macs. iPads seem to be indestructible. I go a couple of years on each new iPhone but do a family hand-me-down arrangement whereby someone I love gets last year’s model for a bargain.
If we dismiss Android as a security nightmare, that leaves the folks at Cupertino as our only phone option. In his review of the iPhone 7 Plus, Matthew Miller said: “The hardware may not visibly be revolutionary, but the internal improvements and the continued advancement of iOS 10 make it an amazing smartphone.”
How do you argue against that and still be viewed as a sane, reasonable technologist?
Not everyone needs to upgrade to a 2016 model Frazmatz just because. Some can. Some do. Not everyone does. They wait until their Frazmatz is showing some wear and tear, or a new Frazmatz can do something they could not with their old Frazmatz.
But 2016 has nothing to do with that time honored methodology to move forward.
Meanwhile, low cost handset makers have been quietly munching on the lunch of flagship phone makers, and in China, Oppo and Vivo have streaked ahead while Apple has slumped.
No, they have not. Fake news. Low cost handset makers do not flagship smartphones make. Even in China, Apple walks away with most of the industry’s profits, captures the cream of the customer crop, and remains what Apple has been for decades– a premium and aspirational brand. Oppo, Vivo, Samsung, and Google Pixel XL are not either.
Ignoring whatever is new is a crazy way to manage technology. If you want to hold onto a Mac from 2007, so be it, good for you, kudos for milking the technology dry. But the year 2016 and whatever is new has nothing to do with such a situation. If we decided to wait a year before buying anything new because obsolete, nobody would ever buy anything new because next year there will always be something newer, faster, lighter, with cool features that also will be obsolete when you buy it.
But not really. Why?
Assume you bought a Mac, iPhone, or iPad three or four years ago. Apple– and almost only Apple– improved your purchase every year since purchase with macOS and iOS upgrades. That means one year after you bought iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus was available, so was iOS 10 and that improved– albeit incrementally– your iPhone 6s Plus.
So-called technologists like Duckett who declare the latest and greatest as ‘meh’ need to stop telling customers how the world is not, and analyze, compare, and contrast the value of new products– even versus old products– instead of writing drivel that seems to identify everything as the same. They. Are. Not. And neither are customer requirements. If you want a new iPhone, go for it. If you want the newest Frazmatz, great. If you want to keep what you have for another year, fine.