Since the first iPhone was released on January 9, 2007, Apple has released a new model every year and has encouraged users to upgrade their iPhone. In its previous iterations, upgrading in each version made sense: the speed of technological innovation meant that tangible improvements in hardware made each new model different.
But as the potential for improvement slowed, so did the older models of the phone; now software upgrades required new phones. In 2020, Apple was fined £21 million for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models, a process that admitted in 2017. Although his internal decisions were justified by Apple management, the fine was incurred because consumers were not warned that keeping older models updated with the latest iOS would slow down their devices. The same is true today, although with clearer notices before each update. An updated iPhone always runs at optimal speed, naturally.
Although this points to the need for a semi-regular update (every two or three years, for example), the software on models released in the previous three years should run the latest iOS with no performance changes. So why spend on the latest iPhone when it’s released?
Ten years ago, the Apple store became part of one-day shopping; testing new camera effects on iPads, marveling at the unlock speed of the latest iPhone. According to Michael Heller and James Salzman, writing in Own! How hidden property rules control our livesthere is a correlation between physical possession and property, the instinctive attachment to an object that is owned.
Stores’ encouragement to play with products causes customers to develop a sense of ownership, which increases their estimate of product value. Suddenly the cost of upgrading to this newer, better model seems justified. It’s not the newest iPhone anymore; it is me Newer iPhone.
This could represent sales for the entire year, but what about the rush to have the newest iPhone at launch, the line outside Apple Stores the morning updates became available, and the scale of orders? anticipated of a product that has not yet been seen? Do Apple’s jargon-filled press releases inspire need? Is life more boring without him? A15 Bionic chip with 5-core GPU What does the iPhone 14 boast? Probably not, objectively, but you’d never believe it.
Why update the iPhone?
According to Reddit, there is financial merit in annual iPhone updates. The iPhone Upgrade Program offered by Apple it means that the amount you would spend launching each new model is less than the cost of upgrading every three years (the general perception of the average time before a new model is physically required due to those iOS/hardware slowdowns).
There’s a palpable sense that making annual upgrades is a smart financial move that somehow marks those who do so as wiser and, more prosaically, part of an elite that can afford the latest gadgets.
In the final season of Netflix’s Big Mouth (Oct 2022), the ‘Apple Brooch’ promises (literally, in a gruff voice) to make whoever wears it ‘f*ckable’ (S06 E06). Being able to afford an iPhone at the time of its release demonstrates a level of disposable income that is not available to the average person and therefore leads to better breeding stock. You’ll never look at an iPhone update the same way.
In its Blog, Ivan Sanders suggests that the motivation for the desire for the latest iPhone is a challenge to the average. For a couple of months, the latest iPhone model has been scarce among the general public; not only can the individual athlete afford it, but could also afford it first.
A Popular Reddit Thread on why people feel they should upgrade to the new iPhone posits that any perceived financial merit takes on a second meaning. Many cite the fact that others spend their money on alcohol, drugs and women, so why not something shiny and new? A user justifies an annual update compared to the amount his wife spends on hair and nails each month. The idea begins to form that while the layman squanders his earnings on transitory rubbish, the more enlightened worker invest your winnings on an iPhone. This is how the norm is challenged and why annual updates have social currency.