Regular readers will know that I am giving serious consideration to dumping the iPhone and making a switch to Android. Apple’s ecosystem feels buggy and slow, and the Cupertino giant seems to be having trouble keeping up with the fixes. And then there’s that constant fear that each update will bring some calamity related to performance or battery life or some other vital part of the system.
But I’ve discovered a way to fall in love with Apple again. It’s easy. Get new hardware.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing a lot of new Apple hardware — the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the Apple Watch 5, and the AirPods Pro. And you know what, they’re all good.
So good that it feels like all my issues with the platform have evaporated.
Everything works, and everything feels tightly aligned, and like it was made to work together.
No, I’m not seriously suggesting that people do this, or that make sense to drop many dollars every year on hardware. Still, it’s interesting to notice this side-effect of Apple’s aggressive upgrade cycles.
But I do know people who do this, and it is interesting to observe that they are much happier with their tech.
But then, if you are willing to spend thousands a year upgrading tech, you’ve likely successfully convinced yourself that this is a good move.
Is this a deliberate scheme on Apple’s part? Sell us new shiny stuff, then gradually, over months, give us reasons to feel distressed with our once-loved devices.
No idea (although I have a hard time believing that this has escaped Apple’s notice), but I have no doubt that this, combined with the fact that shifting platforms is not an easy endeavor, helps drive bountiful quarterly sales.
Apple’s problem seems to be that it can’t keep older hardware feeling good for long. Batteries wear out, and the silicon starts to groan under the weight of operating system updates and newer apps.
But I also know that come iOS 13, watchOS 7, and the slew of firmware updates that the AirPods Pro will undoubtedly get over the coming months, this hardware too would start to feel old, slow, and buggy and the ecosystem would once again become fragmented and disjointed.
That would signal that it was, once again, time to get new hardware.
And so, the cycle of consumerism continues.