Though Apple’s founding innovator Steve Jobs is dead and no longer able to guide the company, the tech giant remains a leader in the mobile phone industry. Apple and its popular iPhones have a rabid fan base that lines up and camps out overnight to be first for the latest generation. When fans get their hands on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the pricey iPhone X, it will be a life-altering event.
With the iPhone, Apple has changed the way people interact with their technology and with each other. But having the latest and greatest iPhone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Here are eight reasons to never buy the newest version of the iPhone.
1. The biggest event of the century — again
Apple made waves when it announced the latest and greatest iPhones in September 2017 — just like it did in 2016, 2014, and 2013. Apple’s rapid pace of innovation and development is almost a negative. By the time you master using your latest iPhone, chances are Apple is going to announce the next generation. If you’re one of Apple’s fans who need the latest and greatest, the cycle will continue year after year after year.
2. Quality in hand
There is something to be said for having the latest technology. Developers — even ones as efficient as Apple’s — need time to work out kinks, the software is usually top-notch, and the hardware is sparkling and new. Yet Apple’s reputation for quality hardware and software can actually be seen as a negative. If you have the iPhone a generation or two preceding the latest one, chances are it’s still working well. Maybe it’s not quite as good as when it was brand new, but it makes it hard to justify plunking down several hundred dollars or more for a new phone.
3. The letdown
You waited for days outside your nearest Apple store for the latest iPhone. You paid for it, got it set up with your wireless carrier, and texted all your friends to tell them about how you were the first to get the new model iPhone. And then what? Checked Instagram? Sent out a tweet? Looked at Facebook? Same as with your old phone? Having the newest phone is a nice emotional boost, but it doesn’t change the way most people use their iPhone.
4. Feeding the monster
Congratulations on your new iPhone. That’s great. Surely you’re happy, but how does it feel to have fed the monster? No, not that monster. The monster that is Apple, the most profitable corporation in the country, according to Forbes. Did you enjoy helping Apple rake in billions in profits?
Feeding Apple’s bottom line by purchasing a new iPhone can also cost more than just the price of the phone itself. Sometimes, a person’s financial stability is on the line. “Surveys indicate that many Americans are too often living paycheck-to-paycheck,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, told The Street. “So, this is where the desire to have the shiny new thing collides with the ability to pay for it.”
5. Who is watching you on your iPhone?
With the iPhone X, Apple unveiled — unsuccessfully — facial recognition software that is supposed to provide even more security than a fingerprint ID or a manually entered passcode. Despite some misgivings from consumers, facial recognition could be the wave of the future. Yet hackers have been able to crack into the Apple iCloud and access photos and other data. So what happens when they crack in and steal access to your face?
“This is a high-risk move for Apple, especially in the wake of the Equifax breach,” Matt Schulz, the senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, told MarketWatch. “That debacle has put data security front and center in people’s minds. If Apple’s facial recognition tool proves to be significantly flawed, it could really damage Apple’s hopes for Apple Pay expansion. People simply won’t use a payments tool if they don’t think it is safe.”
6. The iPhone isn’t truly innovative
When Apple unveiled the iPhone X, it showed off a phone where the screen goes all the way to the edge. The OLED screen was also a new development. Though a break from tradition for Apple and iPhones that usually have a home button, it really wasn’t new technology in the cellphone world.
The Samsung Galaxy 6S Edge, released in 2015, featured an OLED screen that extended all the way to the left and right edges of the device. The trend continued with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and then on to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge. The latter model also ditched the home button in favor of a screen that takes up nearly the entire face of the phone. The Galaxy S8 models were available in early 2017. So in many ways Samsung, which is building the OLED screens for the latest iPhones, actually is ahead of Apple when it comes to the newest phone technology.
7. How long will Apple and the iPhone exist?
The success of the iPhone and the new versions have led to it become the cornerstone of Apple’s product line. Some financial analysts estimate two-thirds of Apple’s revenues come only from the iPhone. That means Apple is basically a company relies on just one product for the bulk of its revenues, and it is one misstep away from a mistake that could damage the future of the company.
8. Preparing for the unthinkable
Apple has the cash reserves to be able to handle massive misfires with a generation or two of the iPhone, and indications are that Apple is already dealing with decreasing iPhone sales. It’s unlikely the iPhone will ever disappear completely. The devoted fan base ensures there will always be some sort of market for it.
But if the pace of innovation slows to a crawl, if consumers tire of keeping up with the latest version of the iPhone, or if people migrate away from Apple products, what then? Some consumers already are fed up with the iPhone. It’s not farfetched to think users who aren’t tied to a specific brand could toy with the idea of stepping away from the iPhone to experiment with Android and its high level of customization. What happens to Apple if they decide to stay away?