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It's Time for a New Phone, Again - Our Wilful Participation in Planned Obsolescence

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My phone contract is coming to an end. This excites my friends. "What phone are you going to get!!?" they ask, like I just won the lottery.

I've had my current model for two years. I was happy with it until about two months ago, when it started getting slow, turning itself off, etc. The phone I had before that? Same deal. It was a glorious feat of engineering for two years before it started to struggle with the big tasks, like sending a text message or receiving a phone call.

Same thing happened to my friends a few years back with their iPhones. After our iPhone 3s models began dying, for no reason, the solution to me was clear: go find a more reliable manufacturer. But my friends all said, "let's get the new iPhone!"

Hold on. A phone craps out for no reason other than being 700 days old, and your instant thought is to buy the same thing again, just the newer, shinier version, which apparently has a new battery which can last all the way through dinner?

Apple's products are notorious for their planned obsolescence. There have been lawsuits. This is a company who have convinced you that a dead battery means you need to upgrade your whole phone!

Remember when things were built to last? Even those Nokias in the nineties could last through a whole weekend. But as for modern smartphones, the manufacturers don't want us content and satisfied, they want us desperate for the next model.

Right now, the new Samsung is in fashion. That's all it is, fashion. We're a generation of pseudo-techno geeks whose free will is actually decided by whichever phone company has the most imaginative marketing.

The networks need to get us on new contracts every two years. And the manufacturers have to sell their products.

All I do on my phone is tweet, email, and text. Yet my android is rapidly slowing, just like my iPhone did.

Maybe it's a coincidence. Maybe Samsung is the answer, that's what the mainstream said in 2012. But even the Samsung users I know replace their handsets less than every two years.

The manufacturers have probably developed phones twenty years in advance, and they're just dangling the latest releases in front of us every six months, knowing that we'll cave.

I'm convinced that this is one of the biggest scams of our generation. The phones become close to unusable every two years, forcing us to upgrade. We've been so cleverly warped that, rather than complain, question, or make a stand - we upgrade. Thank you very much, give me the slightly thinner shinier phone with the great camera. And I'll see you again in 2015, because I hear there's a great phone coming out. And I MUST have it!

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