London Diary – Is the Iphone 6 Worth All the Hullaballoo?

Jal Paddy,

Everyone is talking about the new iPhone 6 and how ‘bad’ it is compared to the 5 which was also ‘badder’ than the iPhone 4.

There are already up to six different versions of the iPhone since the first one was launched in 2007. Go over to the Blackberry, Samsung and the Nokia ranges and the story is the same. I bet there are already people out there who cannot wait for the iPhone 7 to roll out.

The launch of new phones may make the loudest of noises but the habit of coming up with new versions of products has been happening for a while now. Just think of any consumer product, right from toothpaste, cars, curry powder to cameras and soap, and there is a good chance a ‘newer’ version exists.

New used to mean wholly new, with major discoveries and innovations, such as from film camera to digital typewriter to computer or steam to electric engine. Now what we get is merely an upgrade for the price of an entirely new item. Our ever-increasing and insatiable desire for materialistic stuff in this modern life is what fuels this craze. The vendors are only taking aantage by keeping us hooked and coming back for more.

Back to the iPhone 6, I am told the only major difference between it and the iPhone 5 is a screen that is bigger by about 0.7 inches, and maybe more speed and storage space for things such as music and apps. But then with a minimum of 4,000 songs on the phone already, do you really need the upgrade to an 8,000-song capacity?!

Around every last quarter of the year, which is about now, we also have car makers like BMW, Nissan, Benz, and the like, introducing ‘new’ car versions to the market. And in the majority of cases, the only changes made are usually to the exterior body of the car, with the interior pimped up a bit, but with the same engine functionality and features. Now is that a whole brand new car or just new bodywork?

For that, the car maker would have sent the value of your current car crashing, while at the same time tempting you with a much more expensive ‘new’ car, but with an engine only as good as your ‘crashed’ car.

In this part of the world, phones and cars are mostly sold on a two-to-three year contract basis. A phone or car company will hand you a brand new phone or car for which you pay a monthly fee until the contract expires, (just like on hire purchase). I have one such contract for a Blackberry phone for which I pay pound17 a month with unlimited calls and internet access.

Should I ever want to upgrade to a better phone before the contract expires, I would have to pay an extra, say pound25, for a more recent Blackberry version. The same goes for cars, which come with free servicing and mechanical checks when needed.

This somehow explains the need for these companies to keeep us hooked onto upgrades and ‘new’ versions that are not actually new and therefore we don’t need. It is hard finding someone who has owned their phones for more than two years around here.

I get laughed at for my Blackberry 9900 which is already considered an outdated phone. That is how unreal it gets around here.

Your friend,

Chris.

Source : The Observer

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