I was at a family dinner the other night and the subject of smartphones came up as they usually do. The debate over Android versus iOS always seems to rear its ugly head over dinner. I love a good debate and the comparisons of screen size, camera quality, battery life and customization were going well. Everything was fine until my brother mentioned that Apple sucks because they didn’t have anything new in the Apple Store. Whoa! My mind was blown!
That statement would have shocked me that it would come from my own kin and I would have easily laughed it off and called him a moron. But it was met with full agreement from Android and iOS supporters alike! Was I the only one taking crazy pills? When did our society begin judging the merits of a company by its product release dates? When did we throw away our ability to judge quality in the pursuit of something new?
Technology has advanced so quickly over the past 10 years or so. I can remember the days of flip phones and laptops that weighed 13lbs. These devices had low resolution screens, poor battery life, minimal storage capacity, slow processors and limited networking. Today, even the cheapest smart phone has an extremely high-resolution touch screen display, expandable storage options, ultra fast processors, and high-speed networking that fits in the palm of your hand. Demand for mobile devices and smartphones has pushed the technology industry ahead of itself. It seems like companies are throwing everything they can into their mobile devices just because they can. I suppose it is easy to get caught up with advances that quick and numerous.
But, we should still be able to distinguish quality from crap, right? Glass and metal are more durable than plastic. High-end processors should perform better than low-end processors. High resolution displays should make photos and videos look better than low resolution displays. Thin and light are better than thick and heavy. A product that combines the best that technology has to offer with a useable experience is better than one that throws a bunch of features together just because it can.
Maybe I am showing my age and I am totally missing something. I would never call Mercedes a crap company because it only releases a new model once a year. I would never call Disney a crap company because it hasn’t opened a new theme park in the past year. I would never call Roy’s a crap restaurant because it hasn’t added anything new to its menu over the past year. In fact, newness isn’t something I would ever use to describe quality. To me, quality means useability, dependability, and aesthetics.
I know it is easy to get caught up in such a fast-moving market where the marketers and media are constantly confusing us with buzzwords and technical jargon. But when it comes to products that we depend on everyday for work and play, how much sense does choosing “new” over “what works” make?