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September 23, 2009

It’s inevitable, tomorrow gadgets will be better

skrapBOSTON, USA – You do realize that, on average, most devices tomorrow will be better than devices in the same categories today? Yes, you do. Yet, for the most part, folks will constantly kvetch that we’ve released an EVEN BETTER device than the one they’ve been salivating over or just bought.

What can we do about this? And what are the implications of this relentless march of technology? Read on for a few more points around this topic and then feel free to let loose with how this “progress” really makes you feel.

All tech, from canoes to carriages, to castles to computers, evolves. Ever the manic tool-maker, humans tinker and play with things, trying to understand how to make a tool better, more efficient, and cheaper to make.

Right now, mobile devices are going through a rapidly changing phase, where multiple times a year, projects are started that incorporate the latest and greatest. Part of this is the passion of the device creators, stretching the possible to provide the ultimate tool. The other part is the craving multitudes, who want those ultimate tools.

But, when you’re producing a ton of devices at a rapid clip for a wide range of people, you get a constant overlap of products, where as soon as one is on the market there is one with a slightly more desirable feature set. That then sets of a perpetual cycle of desiring an immanently available device and, when the time comes to acquire it, an ambivalence selecting it over the next immanently available device.

Wake up
My advice has been the same for many years: just get the best device today. Forget about the next announced device. You know that adage “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush?” Well, that’s quite relevant here. You will get more use out of a device today than waiting for that ultimate device tomorrow.

And, yes, be ready to see a more desirable device be announced as soon as you buy one today. Just look at the newly announced device, laugh, and know that you will not get it. Because when you are ready to get your next device, there will already be an even more desirable one for you.

It’s inevitable.

The dark underbelly
We really cannot talk about obsolescence without mentioning what happens to all the devices that are discarded. We’ve written previously about recycling, take-back schemes, and the like. So, remember to recycle your old mobile device (which of course you coveted, only to discard for another more covet-able device).

What do you think?
Of course, I’ve seen comments all over related to this march of tech. So, feel free to use the space below to kvetch, laud, or comment on what this all means to you.