Monday, 14 May 2012

They should give you a bin with your next Apple purchase.

My sister treated herself to iPod the other day, an iPod touch to be precise. I’ve got a touch myself, only the battery on it is somewhat temperamental (even though I’ve only had it for one year – but that’s another story). The difference is that her iPod touch it isn’t the same as mine.  It’s got a camera on it for starters. The screen is so much brighter and more crystal clear than mine. And I’m confident in saying the games work better and look nicer on her model. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a teeny bit jealous. It got me thinking though about how many iPods my sister and myself have had between us over the years. I’d hazard a guess at throwing out the number 6, so that’s 3 each. 3 iPods each over the period of say 6 or 7 years... that’s extortionate. It’s not like they have broken each time between buying an upgrade, it’s just the fact the new ones look nicer – no one wants to be seen carrying the old model now do they? Only recently I threw out my perfectly adequate alarm clock come iPod speakers because my speakers “did not support the iPod model”.

Apple has so cleverly created a culture of conspicuous consumption and planned obsolescence whereby we feel the need to keep up with the Jones’, so to speak, in always demanding the latest model of iPods, iPhones and nearly every gadget or piece of clothing in our household. Having last season’s iPod is unheard of - I mean seriously. Take for instance the “new iPad”. Not the iPad 3, the new iPad. They can hardly keep numbering them with the rate they’re bringing the new ones out, because then people would actually start to notice the speed at which they throw away £500 worth of perfectly fine and working equipment. So what was new about this launch? The HIGH RES SCREEN. Wow. I know what I’ve been missing out on now. Spare a thought for the iPad 1 and 2 users though, because the new apps being released seem to be conveniently only working with high res iPads. The more Apple isolates you and your beloved first generation iPad with less apps being available to you on the app store, the more you’re going to want have to buy the sparkly new iPad.

Apple seem to be able to do this with just about every product they offer. Older models start to slow down, so that must mean they’re broken of course. Note to self: must buy new model. With the launch of the iPhone back in 2007, the convergence of a phone and an iPod only secures Apple’s knowledge that once you’ve had an iPhone you’re going to stick with the brand and become loyal customers. Think of the hassle of having to actually carry around your iPod and your phone if it wasn’t for the god-sent arrival of an iPhone...  

So maybe Apple should start providing bins with their purchases, because I can guarantee in the space of 6 months it’ll be full of old, out-dated technology.


  1. Great article lauren! I completely agree...however, I still have my ipod nano from about 6 years ago and it still works..just about! Haha. I definitely agree on the pressure company's like Apple are putting on people to keep up with the latest technology though. It didn't matter so much when new ipods/phones were realised on a not-so-frequent basis, but it seems now that as soon as you buy the 'latest gadget', a new and slightly better one is already on the market!

  2. It's the same with everything now as well, this sounds a bit silly but everyone always goes on about washing machines dying after 2 years and things like that. It has obviously originated from cheap manufacturing to make products which then have the other advantage of people having to buy them again. Our consumer culture is just so ridiculous, new is not always better.

  3. It's quite soul-destroying that on the release day when you buy the iPod they release a publicity statement for the next one.. and the whole thing with planned obsolesence Katie is how they pretty much make it to a lower standard which will break just about after the warranty. It's all very clever and kept on the DL.