This morning’s Observer column:
On Tuesday, Apple released its latest phone – the iPhone 13. Naturally, it was presented with the customary breathless excitement. It has a smaller notch (eh?), a redesigned camera, Apple’s latest A15 “bionic” chipset and a brighter, sharper screen. And, since we’re surfing the superlative wave, the A15 has nearly 15bn transistors and a “six-core CPU design with two high-performance and four high-efficiency cores”.
Wow! But just one question: why would I buy this Wundermaschine? After all, two years ago I got an iPhone 11, which has been more than adequate for my purposes. That replaced the iPhone 6 I bought in 2014 and that replaced the iPhone 4 I got in 2010. And all of those phones are still working fine. The oldest one serves as a family backup in case someone loses or breaks a phone, the iPhone 6 has become a hardworking video camera and my present phone may well see me out.
That’s three phones in 11.5 years, so my “upgrade cycle” is roughly one iPhone every four years. From the viewpoint of the smartphone industry, which until now has worked on a cycle of two-yearly upgrades, I’m a dead loss…