Will the updates ever stop?

I love the technology industry. It is a really great area to write about, as it is constantly changing. Every day, new technologies and methods are developed and released and there is always something interesting to research.

One thing that I do wonder about though, is the consumers constant need for updates.

The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

Take the iPhone for example. You can now walk around with a smartphone sat-nav and a global dictionary in your pocket thanks to Apple’s incredible device. There is no doubt that the iPhone is an example of how technology is constantly evolving and changing.

Since mid 2007 when the iPhone was released, there have been five different variations/upgrades of the device released. Six versions of ultimately the same device in the same number of years.

Fair enough, each time their has been a technological upgrade, however can that really be justified?

Technology is a constantly moving and evolving however I am sceptical that consumers always get the best update.

Apple want to sell phones right, so every year (there or thereabouts) they release a new iPhone. Samsung do the same, as do RIM (owner of Blackberry) and most other smartphone manufacturers.

What I am not sure about is that every year there is a significant enough technological upgrade to warrant the release a new device. So how do Apple do it then? How do they roll out a new phone with ‘cutting edge’ new features every year?

It is my belief that some of the technology in the iPhone 5 has been around for a good few number of years now, however Apple have just been holding back on releasing it, so that they can produce more future editions of the phone.

Also, many of the changes are superficial. For example, the screen gets a little bigger, the camera gets an extra few mega-pixels, the storage options increase. All of these updates could have existed in the original iPhone, however it would have meant that there were fewer tweaks Apple could make to the phone in the future. Why not design a good phone now and not release another until there is enough new technology to justify it?

Within three days of the release of the iPhone 5, people around the world had bought over 5 million. Apple shares rose sharply, and the brand received a big boost. It was a great move by Apple, however are they not cheating the consumer?

In around a year I expect Apple will release another iPhone, and most of the technology and developments that it will contain are probably already in existence and ready to use, however Apple will have decided not to put them in the latest iPhone, so that they have something to put in the next release.

Would it not be better if Apple released an iPhone every three years? That way each phone could be a massive technological leap from the last, rather than just a slight upgrade.

I think it would be better, the consumer would get the best technology available at the time, and wouldn’t have to worry about the device being outdated in a few months. But Apple would probably not see as many sales, over the three years, by releasing just one rather than three phones.

What are your thoughts, are the big firms cheating us? Do we really need as many updates as often as we get them, or would bigger less frequent upgrades be better?

14 thoughts on “Will the updates ever stop?

  1. I think what you’re saying is has some truth, but what’s to stop a company from developing a phone with all the latest available mobile technology so it gets a market lead? I’m sure up and coming phone manufacturers such as Huawei would do anything to catch up with Apple and Samsung

    I think a lot is down to marketing, especially in Apple’s case who could probably sell ice to the Eskimos!

    • Christopher (admin team)

      That is a good point Simon, if Apple withhold a technology now what is to stop Samsung implementing it to get ahead of them. That is assuming that there is no collusion between the big firms…

      Thanks for adding your view Simon, welcome to the community that is Technology Bloggers 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  2. What it comes down to is the money! When a business can make the most money for whatever product and than draw on a loyal customer base. Why wouldn’t they do some of what your talking about!?!

    The bottom line is Technology is technology its here today and gone tomorrow. I am just waiting for the self driving cars! 😉 Oh wait Google is on that one already :O

    • Christopher (admin team)

      I look forward to seeing the self drive car systems develop. Personally I enjoy driving, but I can see the benefits of not needing to be alert and focused 100% on the road all the time. Maybe an ‘autopilot’ mode for dual carriageways and motorways would be useful that you can then turn off when you leave them for a more minor road.

      Anyhow, thanks for adding your view, and welcome to the Technology Bloggers community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  3. I have always said this, they have the technology to make a phone that you would never need to change but they would not make money so they drip feed the consumer with small upgrades to keep a non stop supply of customers, at the end of the day its us the consumers who fall for thier marketing ploy and keep buying the must have latest phone that has just been released

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Interesting view Phil. I am not sure that they can make a phone that never needs to be charged, but I would agree that big firms do like to hold back updates for the future.

      Thanks for the comment, welcome to the community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  4. I do agree with you that it would be better to release a new model with significant technological updates every 3 or 4 years, that way even the consumer would have enough time to make the most of the current model and replace it with the new model only when he is lured by the new technology.
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    • Christopher (admin team)

      Careful Aaron, a good comment then you almost got deleted for spam. If you want to put your URL in the website field fine with us. Claim dofollow keyword backlinks, but don’t advertise your product in the comment itself.

      If you were talking about something related the the article (in this case the link is very tenuous) and have been an active participant in the community for a while, then fair play. Please don’t write comments to advertise though, write them because you have an opinion to express 🙂

      Christopher – Admin Team

  5. Great post Christopher! I definitely agree that thanks to technology, everyday life has become easier. But the constant updates and new releases are becoming too much! As you said, a few tweaks in the features here and there does not justify the release of a new smartphone. I remember watching something online where the journalist was asking passersby what they thought of the new iPhone 5 (while holding an iPhone 4 and making them believe it was the 5). People couldn’t even distinguish the two! Mobile phones are just an example of pure consumerism. I’m totally for bigger and less frequent upgrades.

    • Christopher Roberts

      I am glad you like the post Christian. 🙂

      Question for you: do you have a smartphone? If so what make and version?

  6. Guilty as charged, I do have a smartphone, an iPhone 4 and upgraded from a Nokia. I do appreciate its functionalities but in no way will I upgrade my mobile phone just for the sake of having ‘the latest thing’. Before, people used to buy something and use it till it broke, not just because it was out of style. Of course, I am not trying to put everyone in the same basket but for a lot of people, it seems to be the case.

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