Thank You for Your Purchase, That’s Now Outdated

By Renzo Guevara
Technology's fast-growing cycle of iteration and innovation comes at the cost of the consumer and its investments. Buy a new product today, tomorrow comes an entirely new model that makes your current one obsolete. Hardware retention is a hard promise to give now that software updates determine everything.

Some of the best practices in PR always involve efficient ways to expand exposure and visibility. With everything being online nowadays - work or leisure, there is a greater need to fight for the attention you would want your post to get. Regardless of the subject matter, it all comes down to a couple of things, would you want to tease, taunt, or entice your viewer into clicking into what you have to say?'It’s a great feeling when you finally get to earn enough money to buy yourself a new phone. You spent months budgeting your expenses, mustering up the courage to turn down online sales and food deliveries until you finally get to walk out of a store with a shiny new gadget. Congratulations! Now here comes the company unveiling a brand new model of the same product you just got for only a few hundred dollars more expensive!
The marketing focuses on brand new features and improvements - pushing the narrative that this is now the definitive version. It’s easy to poke fun at the idea of an overpriced phone that only has marginal differences from the previous iteration but, there is a reason why Apple is America’s first trillion-dollar company. There is a reason why tech companies keep doing it year after year.

It’s because no matter how much we say we don’t like it, we still buy into it.

In an interview with U.S. News & World Report, Joshua Weiss, CEO of TeliApp says that "We live in a world in which significant technological improvements in the consumer electronics and gadget verticals are seen on an annual basis."
Purchasing a device warrants a 1-year lifespan before it inevitably gets replaced by a “better” model. This “new product” always touts a faster processor, better camera, higher resolutions, and overall just better everything.

They throw around big numbers and how the battery life lasts much longer but if you really get into it, these are just very minimal step-ups from what came before.

If the fancy showcases don’t sell you on their product, they have a much more subtle manner in which they eventually convince you otherwise. What good is top-of-the-line hardware if you don’t have top-of-the-line software to take full advantage of it? The trade-off with rapid technological innovation is hardware depreciation. New softwares will eventually outlive your gadget - rendering its performance worse with every consecutive update. Thus, forcing you to shell out a couple of hundred dollars because you don’t want to leave the ecosystem of their brand.

What tech companies prey upon is the consumer’s constant need for “more”.

They don’t sell the gadget alone anymore, they sell the illusion of a premium lifestyle that comes with it. In Q3 of 2021, Apple earned $81 billion in revenue which is a 36% increase from the previous year. Whatever these guys are doing, it works and we are the ones making sure of it.
Purchasing a device warrants a 1-year lifespan before it inevitably gets replaced by a “better” model. This “new product” always touts a faster processor, better camera, higher resolutions, and overall just better everything.

Consider this: do you REALLY need to get the new model, or are you just being materialistic?

When Apple releases a new color option, will you shell out *at least* $700 when you’ll just inevitably cover it up with a protective phone case? When a new model boasts a few more megapixels in its camera, will you really take advantage of it when all you do is take pictures of your food to send to the family group chat? Will you really make use of those extra 1-2 hours of battery life when you bring a power bank everywhere you go and you barely even use it anyways? If any of these sound familiar, it’s because Apple just recently had their showcase of the iPhone 13 and this is me desperately trying to convince myself that I don’t need it.
When planning an upgrade, you have to consider practicality over everything. Do your needs justify the steep price? When tech companies say that *this* is now the best in the current market and that it is revolutionary in the industry, they’re just holding back a few more key features to reel you in again the following year. This is why they profit so much off of minimal effort. Would you pay $20 more for a soda if it gave you a longer straw? Sure, you don’t really need it, but it can be nice to have one though right? This is their philosophy and it is something we as consumers are hopelessly blind to.
YouTubers such as Austin Evans and Marques Brownlee have solidified themselves to be the go-to people when it comes to presenting shiny new toys in the tech market. Despite giving praise to performance, design, and presentation, they always state that these are minuscule improvements from what came before. So if you don’t believe a random dude who writes from the internet, take it from those guys.
If your phone still does everything you need it to do without its performance being too much of a hindrance, then you really don’t need to buy into that new model just because it allows you to scan your face to animate a few emojis. I’m still using my iPhone 7 from high school. You’ll be fine.

Make sure you’re heard.