Too Many Smartphones Isn’t The Smartest Idea

Phone companies have to build a brilliant handset you’ll want to use for years, and sell you another handset the next year. This schizophrenic pressure has driven them crazy: instead of crafting the ultimate phone to defeat the competition, they’re trying to cram a new mobile down your throat every month, and if they thought for a single second that would count as a legal sale you’d have an advertising executive’s arm in your oesophagus right now.

This rapid cycling devalues what should be the lodestone of the modern world. A portable computer which can contact anyone else with one on Earth. That should revolutionize society, ending national borders and ushering in a new age of global communication. Instead it’s being spraypainted with Twilight figures and sold for a profit (which at least proves that the species isn’t ready for Utopia.)

The bigger the brand, the greater this pressure to perform. Apple release a major revision every twelve months, usually with a contract of thirty-six months, and apparently keep a straight face through the entire transaction. Whilst queuing for days on end, some obsessive fans have spent longer in line for their products than other people have spent using them. The worst effect is how a guaranteed release date means you’re trying to find something to cram into the next generation, instead of releasing a next generation when you have something worthwhile.

The latest iPhones weren’t even available in white for almost a year, and when Apple are in too much of a hurry to make something white, that’s insane. People running away from a live grenade aren’t in that much of a rush. Nor do they do ludicrous things like “release a phone so new the antenna doesn’t work correctly.” A phone is an antenna connected to a sound system. That’s what it does. A phone with even a slightly dodgy antenna is like a car with round-about four wheels.

LG’s offense is even more ridiculous. The LG Optimus 2X is the world’s first dual-core phone, and a dual-core phone makes as much sense as an eight-cylinder kettle: very exciting for a very specific sort of crazy person, but utterly pointless. Computers went dual-core because they couldn’t make single chips sufficiently better, so they bolted two together. To say mobile phone processors haven’t reached that processing limit is to say Justin Bieber might have room for improvement as an artist. Sticking two together to create Jedward is NOT an amazing upgrade – it’s a ridiculous publicity grab where anyone sensible would have got one good item instead.

It seems they were in such a hurry to capitalise on the dual-core idea that they didn’t have time to finish one. Users are reporting crashes, reboots, overheating, and claim that they’ve found fundamental hardware and software problems which are less “not perfect” and more “this is a single-core phone with an extra chip jammed in it.”

Some networks are simultaneously “solving” the problem while proving why it’ll never be solved, which is a pretty good self-parody and financial plan. Rogers Canada generously allow users to pay them to pay them for a new phone to replace their old phone, which they paid them for. In other words, as long as you still have money, they’ll keep waving shinier phones in your face.

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