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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Time for a smartphone upgrade? Hold that thought!

Through aggressive marketing tactics, smartphone companies have successfully hardwired consumers into thinking that we need to upgrade our devices.
Asia One - April 15, 2013
| More
Time for a smartphone upgrade? Hold that thought!

 

These names will be in everyone's shopping list this year: Samsung Galaxy S4, the next Galaxy Note, HTC One, the Nexus 5, a new iPhone.
Yes, expect the names of these devices to be very popular this year, just as how its predecessors took the spotlight of last year. And assuming that most shoppers are existing smartphone owners, are these upgrades even necessary?
Pretty much every new smartphone that has come out recently has only been evolutionary instead of revolutionary. Almost every update on new smartphones today are incremental, and from the looks of it, the trend will carry on throughout the year.
I wasn't among those who were impressed with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 last month. What promised to be the next big thing turned out to be an S3 bloated with gimmicky features. Great for those who have never used an S3 before, but not worth the upgrade for existing S3 users.
I walked into a mobile phone store a few days ago just to check out new arrivals, and for the first time, I got sick and tired of it.
So what else is new? Bigger, faster smartphone? Slimmer, lighter tablets? Prices of old phones slashed down to make way for new ones? We all know it's a repetitive process.
But it's amazing how the next Galaxy phone and the iPhone will become bestsellers anyway. Through their aggressive marketing tactics, these smartphone companies have successfully hardwired us consumers into thinking that we need to upgrade our devices.
While it can't be denied that smartphones and tablets have made our lives better and become essential tools, the obsessive need to have the latest and shiniest gadget has also crippled our society.
You will always have that person in your circle who has an iPhone 4, a 4s and a 5 in each consecutive year, or that guy with the whole range of Galaxy devices. What difference do each of these devices make in such a short timespan?
The new smartphone that you bought today will be an old phone by next year when a new "better" one pops out.
When you ask yourself whether you need a faster phone this year, exactly how much faster do you want it to be when quad-core chips have literally ended smartphone lag last year.
You want a bigger screen for your next phone, but your current phone that you've bought from last year is already massive at about 4.7 inches. You can tell the difference between a 3.5-inch and a 4.7-inch display size, but not between a 4.8-inch and a 5-inch.
A higher megapixel camera? Don't make me laugh. We have reached a point where any smartphone that you pick up today is just good enough.
In fact, you can even pick up last year's model and not surprisingly they all work just fine, and you can save money in the process too.
If this was three years ago, I would have suggested getting the latest and high end to ensure that you will have the best. Today, you can't go wrong with any purchase.
Excited about the Samsung Galaxy S4? The S3, which launched last year, is still a great phone to buy today. Waiting for the iPhone 6? The iPhone 5 is the best iPhone to have right now, and it will remain a great phone for another couple of years.
Meanwhile, we need to see more disruptive innovation, just as how Apple introduced the first iPhone when all smartphones at that time were complex and boring, and how the first iPad blew everyone away in a category that was non-existent at that time.
To me, that was revolutionary, and I want it to happen again. The question is, does the smartphone need some reinvention? While most of us are happy with the state of our current devices today, I believe there is always room for innovation.
What could it be? Foldable screens? holographic projections? At the end of the day, it has to be something that will win the hearts of many.
For now, there's nothing to be overly excited about. If your phone still works fine and gets the job done, why upgrade so soon?
If it breaks and needs replacement, don't be afraid to take a gander at last year's catalogue.

These names will be in everyone's shopping list this year: Samsung Galaxy S4, the next Galaxy Note, HTC One, the Nexus 5, a new iPhone.

Yes, expect the names of these devices to be very popular this year, just as how its predecessors took the spotlight of last year. And assuming that most shoppers are existing smartphone owners, are these upgrades even necessary?

Pretty much every new smartphone that has come out recently has only been evolutionary instead of revolutionary. Almost every update on new smartphones today are incremental, and from the looks of it, the trend will carry on throughout the year.

I wasn't among those who were impressed with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 last month. What promised to be the next big thing turned out to be an S3 bloated with gimmicky features. Great for those who have never used an S3 before, but not worth the upgrade for existing S3 users.

I walked into a mobile phone store a few days ago just to check out new arrivals, and for the first time, I got sick and tired of it.

So what else is new? Bigger, faster smartphone? Slimmer, lighter tablets? Prices of old phones slashed down to make way for new ones? We all know it's a repetitive process.

But it's amazing how the next Galaxy phone and the iPhone will become bestsellers anyway. Through their aggressive marketing tactics, these smartphone companies have successfully hardwired us consumers into thinking that we need to upgrade our devices.

While it can't be denied that smartphones and tablets have made our lives better and become essential tools, the obsessive need to have the latest and shiniest gadget has also crippled our society.

You will always have that person in your circle who has an iPhone 4, a 4s and a 5 in each consecutive year, or that guy with the whole range of Galaxy devices. What difference do each of these devices make in such a short timespan?

The new smartphone that you bought today will be an old phone by next year when a new "better" one pops out.

When you ask yourself whether you need a faster phone this year, exactly how much faster do you want it to be when quad-core chips have literally ended smartphone lag last year.

You want a bigger screen for your next phone, but your current phone that you've bought from last year is already massive at about 4.7 inches. You can tell the difference between a 3.5-inch and a 4.7-inch display size, but not between a 4.8-inch and a 5-inch.

A higher megapixel camera? Don't make me laugh. We have reached a point where any smartphone that you pick up today is just good enough.

In fact, you can even pick up last year's model and not surprisingly they all work just fine, and you can save money in the process too.

If this was three years ago, I would have suggested getting the latest and high end to ensure that you will have the best. Today, you can't go wrong with any purchase.

Excited about the Samsung Galaxy S4? The S3, which launched last year, is still a great phone to buy today. Waiting for the iPhone 6? The iPhone 5 is the best iPhone to have right now, and it will remain a great phone for another couple of years.

Meanwhile, we need to see more disruptive innovation, just as how Apple introduced the first iPhone when all smartphones at that time were complex and boring, and how the first iPad blew everyone away in a category that was non-existent at that time.

To me, that was revolutionary, and I want it to happen again. The question is, does the smartphone need some reinvention? While most of us are happy with the state of our current devices today, I believe there is always room for innovation.

What could it be? Foldable screens? holographic projections? At the end of the day, it has to be something that will win the hearts of many.

For now, there's nothing to be overly excited about. If your phone still works fine and gets the job done, why upgrade so soon?

If it breaks and needs replacement, don't be afraid to take a gander at last year's catalogue.

 

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