I tend to go through smartphones every two years, but I never considered that unusual. I pushed the limits of my current iPhone 4s in hopes that the iPhone 6 would have a mobile wallet (I was right), but I’ve been forced to live with a crippled phone that needs to be hard restarted every few hours. I know consumer technology has a short lifespan; but what is the definition of a lifespan?
About a year ago, my first-generation iPad started working like crap. There was nothing physically wrong with it. I never dropped it, I always kept it in its case and really only used it once a month while traveling. Regardless, my $400 iPad was running slower than Terry Fox and I knew I had to upgrade to a shiny new model. That was the first time I ever thought about the shelf life of the technology that I buy way too frequently.
I never considered watches disposable. I have almost every watch I’ve ever owned, with the exception of my Swatch watch, which stolen in grade school, so it doesn’t count. Watches are jewelry that you can hand down from generation to generation. They are not a product that can be recycled at Best Buy every few years.
Today, Apple released its fancy timepiece, aptly dubbed the Apple Watch, and I’m sitting here pondering whether it’s worth investing $350 on something that will never give to my non-existent child when they reach some imaginary milestone. More than likely, my smart watch won’t last three years or until third iteration of its operating system. Is Apple degrading the entire watch market by creating something that looks awesome for a hot minute, but will never stand the test of time? Is this the era of the disposable watch?
I’m probably overthinking this. I mean, does anyone still have a working Casio Databank in their jewelry box? And does anyone really care about heirlooms any more?