Too Easy to Break, Too New to Repair
… still too expensive to replace.
0th-world problems — my S8 is cracked after only two months of use. It’s definitely usable but the cracking definitely impacts the sheen and newness of the device. It’s too new for most local repair shops to have parts to fix. Yes, there are complaints about the break-ability of the S8, but it’s still a fantastic phone and functioning well despite the cracks.
Planned obsolescence might be a the bane of modern society. Consumers are too eager to cast away their goods for the next shiny object and vendors need to increase quarterly earnings by creating more demand. However, what we’re actually seeing is that technology is moving towards ubiquity.
Contracts used to lock us in to 3-year terms. Now, it’s 2-year. There are also plans for yearly phone updates. What will this look like in 10 years from now? Maybe the phone will be simply metal and glass and the more expensive hardware will be built into our surroundings?
We can see the first twinkles of this with the Echo and Google Home — or even the Cast. If I have both (and maybe a keyboard / mouse), I can do almost any work, shopping, or gaming. The handheld device is still relatively new but it’s evolving so quickly we might be correct to think its a transient form factor.