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The iPhone 5 will be released on Sept. 21, less than a year after the iPhone 4S
Is technology moving too darn fast?
The new iPhone 5 has arrived (sadly, no news yet of the much-hyped possibly fictional iPad Mini), and most will have to make a serious decision: trade in, or keep what you already have?
Apple’s iOS 6 will be available to all iPhone 4S users, but that pesky A6 chip (the iPhone 4S uses the A5) is going to become a problem within the next year, as mobile developers start creating apps for the latest iPhone. Translation: your phone won’t be able to handle all the updated graphics and yet-to-be announced features exclusive to the A6 chip, rendering your iPhone 4S as useless as the original iPad.
It’s a slowly grinding descent into what you might call “tech garbage.” You can recycle, trade-in, store in a drawer all you want, but increasingly, the window’s closing on your smartphone or tablet’s market value. You make that purchase, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re going to make another just to keep up. Technology, and in effect, Apple’s many wondrous products are the opposite of wine – they get worse (useless) with age. Talk all you want about your old iPod doubling as a hard drive, or some other arcane function, but that’s not why you originally purchased it.
Here’s the real problem, though: A consumer should safely assume that whatever they’re putting their hard-earned money on should at best – if it is the latest and greatest – provide a shelf life of roughly more than a year. Seems fair, right? The iPhone 4S was released in November. Seems a little unfair for those who bought into all the neat iPhone 4S touting the coolness of Siri (thanks, Samuel L. Jackson!).
Most techies have plenty of disposable income (watch the iPhone 5 release lines next week), which means, in theory, these folks are going to buy the current models without hesitation. But if you’re not exactly in that category, what are your options?
1) Wait it out.
All the cool new iPhone 5 features such as the new maps, Facebook integration, and a new and improved Siri personal assistant are going to be available for most current iPhone users.
You can thoroughly expect next week’s launch will be a big deal. It always is. And most of us holding onto our iPhone 4s are going to feel some iPhone 5 envy.
2) In that case, consider this: Apple’s buying back iPhones (you’ll have to mail it), so are gazelle.com, Game Stop, and your local carrier. Be sure to comb the Internet for the best deals and drop by a store or two.
If you’re like most of us mid-level techies, you’ll simply hold off until the foundations get a little shaky and you’re forced to switch to the fast lane. You’ll also convince yourself that the new iPhone isn’t really that different from the one you own.
Tech garbage is a way of life. And our collections will eventually tell the story of our evolving digital lives. One memory (or device) at a time.
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