Technology changes fast, but is it always necessary to keep up with it? Probably not, but companies are always good at tricking you into buying updated products. Here are a couple of ways they con us into upgrading.
1. Broken glass
Shattered glass is horrendous. Every single time I see one of my friends with a cracked phone screen, I think to myself, “How ghetto. I’m so much better than him/her.” I also take time out of my day to go out of my way and remind them how terrible the broken screen looks. But it doesn’t take an awful friend to remind the user of their clumsiness. We all know how bad a shattered screen looks, and it can even be an inconvenience trying to read between the cracked lines.
But now, manufacturers make our phones even more vulnerable to the ugliness of a cracked screen by covering the entire phone in glass, rather than using a break-proof material for the backside. Popular phones such as the iPhone 4 and the LG Nexus 4 have a higher risk of cracking the front AND backside of the phone because the manufacturers use glass on both ends. Consumers are much more prone to replace their gadget when the aesthetics are off.
2. Ridiculous repair costs
I understand that hard-work comes at a price, but I don’t feel that it is necessary to make repair costs ridiculous. I don’t even value my own labor that highly (low self-esteem issues? Maybe.) Having such high repair costs is one way the technological industry is getting us to constantly renew our gadgets. Even if you try repairing the gadget yourself, there’s usually tamper-proof screws that prevent you from doing so. You’ll even put your warranty at risk. Rather than getting something repaired or trying to fix it yourself, it’s usually just a better idea to go out and buy a new, updated version of your toy.
3. Newer versions and models
People are always getting tricked into buying newer versions of their gadgets when they really don’t need it. A classic example is the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G. The main difference between these two devices was the support of the 3G network, but was the purchase really worth it back then? Apple is notorious for constantly releasing new versions of their gadgets when it really isn’t necessary or the features just aren’t worth it. However, consumers that aren’t aware of their devices’ capabilities can easily be reeled into these marketing ploys. It’s no surprise that jailbreaking has become more popular over the years. Don’t get me wrong though; Apple isn’t the only company guilty of doing this. I mean, really, how many versions of Microsoft Office do we need?
4. Warranty procedures
Let’s say your device breaks under warranty, and now you want to go reclaim your replacement or get yours repaired. Well, I wish you the best of luck because companies nowadays require ridiculous amounts of information and paperwork. Trying to get a company to claim the warranty is almost impossible. After you send your broken gadget in, you can expect a mail war to come about. You’ll be sending them everything you have and they’ll simply reply with “This isn’t sufficient” or some silly garbage like that. Knowing these exhausting procedures are ahead of you when you want to claim a warranty may be enough to just make you want to purchase a new gadget without all the hassle.
5. Hanging with the cool kids
I remember how it was in high school. Having the latest version of the RAZR phone would net you a date with any of the pretty girls! Okay, maybe not, but it sure has heck did make you feel cooler. Manufacturers and marketers employ style obsolescence to attempt to set new trends among the crowds. This makes consumers more aware about the age of their product and pressures them to update.