I’ve been pondering this for a while. I’ve had four or five different iPads and three or four different iPhones during the short period they have been available, usually quick to jump on the newest model.
And I’ve owned a significant number of laptops, both for business and personal use over the years. Interestingly, I’ve had my current laptop, an HP EliteBook 9470m, for over 18 months. This is a technology eternity for me. So what makes this product different from the others? It is solid, very functional, lightweight, and performs great (screen, keyboard, connectivity, etc.). Sure, there are new features available with newer models (touch screen, foldable 180 degree devices, etc.), but this hardware package is very good. Mostly importantly, it’s good enough to meet my needs.
Why? I believe that the “use cases” for this hardware have stabilized. My uses include creating content, connecting to corporate networks, traveling within the office, to the office, and on the road. Wi-Fi standards, battery life, disk drive technology have all reached a solid level. Video, audio, fingerprint scanning, and peripheral connections have stabilized. There are plenty of vendors trying to provide new reasons to buy new hardware, but I think good is good enough.
Has the marketplace reached the same point with smartphones? For iPhone 4 and 5 owners, many have voted by keeping their current models and have avoided the lure of an upgrade. Their phone is paid for and it’s doing its job. What more could they ask for?
The same goes with the iPad. There are plenty of 2 and 3 generation old devices that are satisfying what the user wants and more.
My conclusion is that the upgrade game is not solely about the hardware anymore—there is only so much one can do with the form factor. It is now about expanding the use cases and/or reducing the costs and expanding the market. That includes global markets outside of the U.S. that seem to have almost unlimited potential. Tech geeks like me will continue to be drawn to the newest shiny objects. But for the masses, they are going to need more compelling reasons to keep trading up.
As an aside—remember the good ol’ days when everyone was excited about mobile phones getting smaller and smaller? When the Motrola MicroTAC was replaced by the Motorola StarTAC (1996), that was considered a big darn deal.
Apple just made their always-anticipated September product announcements. Featured this year were the iPad Pro, new iPhones, Apple TV and OS 2.0 for Apple Watch. There are many summaries you can read about the details, including:
- ‘Hey Siri’ Event Roundup: iPhone 6s, iPad Pro, New Apple TV and More
- Apple Unveils iPhone 6S, and Breaks Own Taboos With Other Offerings
- Everything Apple announced at its September 2015 event
The upgrades are interesting, but are not compelling me to purchase the new devices, at least in the short term. I made the following post on Facebook…adding up the cost of all of the new devices and making a comparison to a desktop computer purchased 17 years ago.
Certainly I enjoy the camera technology, and the camera and video technology upgrades look interesting. Apple TV and, specifically, the remote are nice (and overdue) improvements.
Here are my key takeaways:
- The iPad Pro could become my replacement for my home laptop. Its screen is larger and has a much improved keyboard (compared to third-party devices). Besides, my trusty five-plus-year-old MacBook has been sitting on the floor in my office for at least two months without me turning it on. Why? There isn’t anything I have had to do on it that I couldn’t do with my iPad or an occasional simple task on my work laptop (create a bike route, type something, fill out a longer form or interact with a legacy (non tablet friendly) website). Data is in the cloud. Devices sync wirelessly to the cloud or they don’t need to sync.
- The iPhone will become a new standard. The camera and 3D Touch, improved glass and additional hardware features are nice.
- The biggest improvements are iOS9 software-related. In particular, the multiscreen presentation on the iPad and 3D Touch navigation on the iPhone. This creates new possibilities for application developers and increased ease of use in a variety of situations.
But when is good enough good enough? I’m sensing a topic for my next post.
I know I’m guilty of distraction and have written previously about setting aside time to focus. Recently I noticed that I tend to purchase paper books (odd label, isn’t it?) when the topic is a bit more intense and I want to concentrate on reading for longer periods of time. Looks like I’m not the only one. Paper is back: Why ‘real’ books are on the rebound provides the explanation.
Do you find yourself, responding “Busy” or “Hectic” or something similar when asked, “How are you? 7 ways to stop being ‘busy’ and actually start being productive caught my attention with some practical rules.
Think about attention as a form of currency. Whatever you occupy yourself with takes time and mental resources. So, What Is Our Attention Really Worth? Here’s an easy way to give consideration to how we spend this valuable resource.