Commentary: Smartphones last longer so why do some people still upgrade theirs each year? – CNA


There’s little doubt the iPhone has evolved from a niche product for fanboys and early adopters to become a modern-day miracle and the best-selling tech product over the past decade.

It was a potent economic force propelling Apple forward. In those early years when each iPhone introduction brought new functionalities and significant enhancements, novelty drove sales.

Enthusiasts of iPhones typically couldn’t wait to place pre-orders when an Apple led by Steve Jobs wowed the world with striking new innovations like the touchscreen phone, the front-facing camera (iPhone 4) and a Siri personal assistant (iPhone 4S).

And so the number of iPhone users surged by about 50 per cent from 2008, only slowing down after 2012.

These days, the changes in each model seem less head-turning. Better cameras may have helped the iPhone catch up with slick Android phones in the late noughties, but nicer colours and new screen notches seem unremarkable to an average user.

Until the 5G capability was added to iPhone 12 last year, the name of the game seemed like continuous improvements, with higher processing speeds and a more powerful camera. Apple makers hoped these slight improvements would prod people, particularly its loyal base, to continue buying their phones.


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