Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Incremental Updates

Every time Apple update something in their line-up that doesn’t quite live up to people’s expectations the finger pointing starts. Words like “incremental”, and the lack of “innovation” start being banded around along with the “should have been an S year statements”. I don’t agree with these statements in relation to the iPhone 13, however even if that is the case for you, these small steady steps forward are the best thing for everyone.

I struggle with the urge to upgrade more than most people. I obsessively get a new iPhone each year (yes even the iPhone XS) and more than occasionally look back and regret it. Each year the new phones indeed offer me something, however small, but I have come to terms with the fact that the drive for me to upgrade is one of habit and ego. When it comes to the device I use the most I just like something new, constantly. The sheer fact that I buy the pro phone each year is because it is new but being mindful of this allows me to see just how truly stupid it is.

This so called “lack of innovation” or “incremental updates” are exactly what our consumerist culture needs. Small updates each year help to dispel the myth of needing to constantly upgrade. Indeed, the actual benefits of newer models are becoming so small that when talking to others it is easier to put people off than ever. Leaving room for you to question the line up and be far more objective about stretching to upgrade. A positive further enforced by a line-up that contains overlapping features and, at least perceivably, very few compromises at each price point.

Sure, there are more capitalist ideas behind releases than I want to think about. There must be technical reasons but simple things such as moving camera lenses to new positions could be interpreted as making sure to show off the new phone. You can be sure each year there is also a new flagship colour too. However, a line up where you can get 90% of a phone at 70% of the cost is one that I applaud. Long may small incremental updates keep coming and someday even I might not feel the urge to buy, but I doubt it.

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