I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting with a bunch of friends, deep in conversation about world affairs, when suddenly we found ourselves talking about the evolution of smartphones. It was January, 2014, and I was happy with my blackberry Q10. The slick world of iOS was completely alien to me. One of my friends pulled out his shiny iPhone 5s and tried to convince me to get one for myself. You gotta try this beast out! It has better features than your blackberry, he smirked. Needless to say, the touch of the phone alone was enough to convince me to make an impatient switch. A week later, I was the proud owner of a shiny, almost gold-colored iPhone 5s, thus abandoning my ‘berry’ trusty companion of years.
Everything was refreshingly beautiful about this phone.
“Until it wasn’t.”
October 2014 gave birth to iPhone 6. Apple revolutionized its design game; abandoning its classic small screen for a bigger, rounder one, mimicking a design soiled to Samsung’s Galaxy series. None of this was enough for me to went to switch to the latest version of the iPhone, and I decided to stick to my 5s.
But something changed. My device was slower. Receiving phone calls became a nightmare, and I would keep seeing random, suspicious iOS update notifications. I wondered if this was Apple’s way of trying to get me to dump my 5s in favor of its successor. I managed to hold on to my 5s until iPhone 6s was launched in late 2015. I decided to buy the iPhone 6s this time and once again, all was well in apple’s shiny, golden abode. Wait a minute, what’s that? The iPhone 7 is launching? Cue the glitches! My phone, was once again, going through a severe case of seizures and at this point taking a phone call was simply a chore I didn’t wish on ever completing.
With every launch of a newer version of the iPhone came the risk of having my phone deteriorate into a lesser version of itself.
Even though I’ve managed to survive all these years with my iPhone 7, I can’t help but wonder:
“Are we living in an era where the manufacturer of our smartphones controls our device to the point where they’re practically forcing us to buy newer, and at times, more expensive, versions of the same series of phones, regardless of whether or not we need them?”
Have we subscribed to the ‘device as a service’ product without even realizing it? What are your thoughts?