Some thoughts about the iPad 4 and the state of mobile technology

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Fantoni, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Fantoni macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    On October 23, 2012 Apple annonced the 4th generation of his tablet, the iPad 4, which is "twice as fast" than its predecessor, the new iPad (or iPad 3), launched just six months ago. Apart for the new processor, other improvements include a better Wi-Fi and cellular connection, a new standard connector, a better front camera. Not bad for a six months span...

    Most iPad 3 owner are angry and, in my opinion, they have reason to be so: the longevity of their investment was suddenly shortened. New iOS version will come and at some time they will require "iPad 4 or later". Of course you can decide to not upgrade, but soon or later your favourite app will require "iOS X or later" and you will be out of the game. Sooner than expected.

    As a result, a rational person should now sell its iPad 3 to get an iPad 4. This move will cost him very little (considering the high value that Apple products command on the second-hand market) and will extend his investment.

    I'm a rational guy and, luckly, I'm not short of money: I could just give my iPad 3 to a friend and buy a top of the line iPad 4 the day it is released. But this time I will not upgrade my iPad. It's a matter of principle.

    Let's be frank: Apple makes money with hardware, tons of money. In Apple's view, each year a user should replace his iPhone/iPad just to get "the latest and greatest" device. If he doesn't upgrade his hardware, he will be out of the game in a couple of years. No new device? No new iOS and no new apps!

    But this is a crazy thing and I want to get off! We can't afford this huge waste of resources: costly new hardware still in great shape made obsolete after just 2 or 3 years. We are seven billion on this planet and we need a better way to manage innovation. We should demand much more long-lived hardware from Apple and other technology firms. They should push their innovation drive on the software side, making apps more lightweight and fast, also on older hardware. We should not need the latest device to enjoy the latest technology. Think of Google or the Internet: they are wonderful innovations and they work flawslessly on every kind of device, also on a 10-year-old computer.

    In other words, innovation in the mobile industry should get more sustainable. We have no choice if we want every inhabitant of our planet enjoy the latest and greatest technology.
  2. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    You will be able to do everything with your iPad 3 in ten years that you could do the day you bought it. A guaranteed 2 or three years of os updates, while very nice and something missing from any other mobile tech vendor, doesn't have anything to do with your utility as you bought it.

    Instead what your asking is that software development slow down or stop to keep pace with your upgrade cycle so you can be king of the hill for a while longer. Imagine if car companies were forced to stop releasing new and updated models every year and could only bring improvements in five or eight year cycles because that was the average driver's upgrade cycle? There is no "upgrade treadmill" unless your identity is tied up in having to have the latest and greatest.
  3. rowspaxe, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012

    rowspaxe macrumors 68000


    Jan 29, 2010
    If we go to an update cycle of 25 years, every one on the planet could have the "latest" and "greatest". I would say the hardware life of an ios device is about 5 years. And that the software support for the devices is about 3 years. So there is a difference--but not a great one. Even updating every year, ios users probrably incur far less evironmental load than a 1990's pc user upgrading every 5 years. Remember crt's? People enjoy a lot of utility from thier mobile devices--and as we learned this week--a lot of that utility comes from the relative newness of those devices. There is nothing unsustainable about mobile device use.
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    The iPad is not an investment. No electronic gadget is.
  5. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    Nice soap box speech. Now that you have stepped of the soap box, what's your action plan for every inhabitant of the planet? Talk is cheap and plentiful.
  6. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    Oh get over it already. You'll have iOS updates for AT LEAST a couple of years if not longer, after which your iPad 3 will still work. It's not like apple was holding out when they released the iPad 3, they just didn't have Lightning and A6 ready.
    Do you honestly think they would sell their flagship iPad during the holiday season without the latest connector?
    But hey at least we all know now that you have money.... Thanks.
  7. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009

    You see these types of post after every new Apple release, usually from posters with 100 post or less. After awhile these types of threads die down when the novelty is over and you never here/see from them again.
  8. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    I rather have apple to update the ipad 8 months later instead of going for 18 months like the iphone 4 or every month like android manufacturers!
  9. syc23 macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011
    OP, you're an idiot if you've bought any piece of tech as an 'investment'. Nothing ever stands still, it's why they call it progress.

    Hey I've bought a car before only for the manufacturer to bring out the same model a few months later with slightly better spec with more BHP. Should I march over to the garage to demand a refund because I feel cheated? No.

    Deal with it.
  10. Fantoni thread starter macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    I have to admit that making this kind of "speech" in a forum populated by die-hard Apple fans was not a good idea.

    Anyway, I think that most posters didn't really got the point of my thoughts. I would like mobile technology to be more democratic and accessible and the Apple model of innovation, based on expensive hardware that get obsolete very soon, is clearly not a good solution. Apple users can be in the millions, but they remain a niche comparing to the world population.

    Of course I don't expect Apple to change its lucrative strategy. However I hope that the mobile industry could find a way to ensure that most users on the planet could enjoy cutting-edge technology. In my opinion there are two options available:

    1. Make very cheap tablets and phones intended to be replaced every 2 years.

    2. Make long-lived hardware and push innovation on the software side with lightweight and fast apps. Ideally users should be able to operate some kind of upgrade on their hardware too: add more storage and more RAM, replace battery, etc. Mobile devices should be simply designed in a different way, they should be built to last...

    Of course I'm a supporter of option 2. After all, according to design legend Dieter Rams "Good design is long-lasting"...
  11. ccwestcliff macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    I guess a MacRumors forum is a bad place to start a discussion like this ... :rolleyes:
  12. Jord5i macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2012
    The iPad 3 still does everything you thought it would when you bought it.
    The whole getting outdated stuff is nonsense, the first gen iPad has gone all the way up to iOS 5, and there are 0 apps requiring iOS 6, and there won't be for quite a few more years (not counting native iOS 6 apps). The iPhone 3GS is still supported by iOS 6.

    Quit complaining and enjoy your iPad 3, if you as you mentioned do have the money to upgrade, go ahead and do so, or don't and upgrade when your iPad 3 is no longer supported by a newer iOS version. Just don't start complaining here and expect a lot of people to agree with you.
  13. Fantoni thread starter macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    As for the term "investment" I used for my iPad, I don't think it's so airy-fairy. Most people don't use their iPhone/iPad just to play Bridge or to watch funny videos on YouTube; they use it as a productivity tool and they clearly expect some benefits from it. After all a computer is clearly an "investment" both for a firm and for an individual. Why a mobile computer should be just a "gadget"?
  14. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    1) I have yet to come across a scientific poll show the majority of iPad 3 owners are upset the iPad 4 was released. What you are stating is purely anecdotal.

    2) CE gets updated all the time and no manufacturer gives notice when a product is released when the next update will occur. They do, however, state, that an update can happen at anytime, and buyer has no recourse.

    3) When you buy a product, any product, you are consuming, not investing. Even if you use the product for business it still consumes cash or increases your debt. An investment is when you put money into something with the expectations of a return on your money. We have to thank politicians for corrupting the word "investment" into meaning "spending on consumable goods". Even if it's for a good purpose, it's still spending, not investing.

    4) What I personally want is for technology to continue advancing, not slowing down to serve one's ego and insure they have the latest and greatest for more than 6 months. I mean that is why you are P.O.'d. -- because you no longer have a current model. I gotta tell you, the 4th gen is a modest update. It probably should be called the iPad 3.5 gen, but that doesn't sound so slick. Enjoy your 3 or sell and buy a 4. It's not a huge deal either way.

    5) The sustainability argument is fallacious. Apple is still making iPads, whether they are 2, 3, or 4s. My dad is still using my mom's old original iPad. He's not tech savvy at all and not a huge app user. He uses it mostly to surf the web, something the original iPad will be able to do until the battery conks out. And then he'll have to decide to either replace the battery or put it in the recycling bin. It won't end up in a land fill.
  15. KieranDotW macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    If you're really worried about getting "out of the loop", why can't you just wait to upgrade your beloved iPad 3 until it is *officially* no longer supported by Apple, rather than upgrading now and just getting an extra year if updates? If you wait, you'll get more out of it.

    And consider the competition: Android devices get upgraded every few months, and support 1 or 2 minor OS updates at best throughout their lifetimes. Apple's still ahead of the game in that regard.
  16. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Sorry, what you're suggesting is simply not feasible. Sure, the original iPhone was a solid piece of tech. It feels sturdy, looked futuristic, and was loved by many. It also sold well, which is the only reason Apple decided to invest more money into it and built more iPhones. (i.e. vs. Zune)

    However, if you're going to tell me I have to stick with a gadget that uses Edge technology to connect to cell towers today, I would slap you. It's only through consumption that technology advances. If no one wants any of this, they would stop building it. If people are voting with their dollars, they will keep making things better. On the flip side, if they are voting with their dollars but it's coming at a cost to the makers, then technology won't advance either.

    I guess if anything, you can thank the carriers like at&t for dragging their feet on implementing LTE and fiber into every home. Carriers and other old school companies are the only reason why we don't have even faster machines today.

    On a side note: while consumption drives innovation. There is no rule that says YOU have to buy/renew our tech every year. This is a choice but if you make the choice, you shouldn't live in regret/fear of it. With Apple, it's so easy to get the latest and great and in turn, sell what you bought last year for about 75-90% of the resale value. I really don't understand why people get angry when they can easily turn around and flip this stuff.
  17. darngooddesign, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012

    darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    No. It's a bad place to start the 10th discussion like this. ;)
  18. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice

    I've got an ipod touch from waaaay back - either 1st or 2nd gen (no speaker on it). Probably 5 or 6 years old now. It's still rocking iOS 3.1 (last time i updated!). BUT it does exactly what I need it to do. I use it for work to show pictures and videos and play music. And it still does that the exact same way it did back then.
  19. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    While you are corrct about the apps that came installed. But even five years down the road you will have a hard time finding a lot of apps which will work. For example I have a speedo app that I have been running on my iPhone 3G with OS 4.2.1. The only way I could install that app after a restore was by using an old copy on my Mac which accepted that OS, if I had to rely on installing from the AppStore I would be out of luck.

    So while you can do everything that your ipad came with, there is no guarantee you can do other things.
  20. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    Actually, fewer interchangeable parts on the devices leads to them being more durable and longer lasting - fewer parts to break. Are you advocating that these devices should not progress and become more advanced? The rate of improvement in mobile technology is going at an incredible rate. Should this be slowed down so people don't have to replace their devices? You don't have to replace yours. No one, even apple, is forcing anyone to do so. The fact is, even though ipad3 owners complain that their devices are now obsolete, they are far from it. iPad 1s are still widely in use, just not supported by the most current version of ios. There are people who still use the original iPhone and early model iPod touches. My wife still happily uses her iPod classic from 2007. We still use a windows PC from 2005. My point is, just because technology moves forward it does not mean that old technology is useless.
  21. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Mobile hardware is advancing at an alarming rate, look at desktops, you buy one now and you'll use it for 6/7/8 years absolutely fine. But because phones are so far behind (in terms of cpu/gpu) and they are constantly improving it people will see their device become old and unable to run the latest stuff a lot faster. Look at the iPad and iPad 3, there are already quite a few apps that require the A5 chip.

    I just hope the A6 isn't what the A4 was, but I don't think that will happen as fast. My guess is A5 chip devices will get full updates until at least iOS 7 (if not 8) then partial updates for another year or two after. They are just so powerful now than they were even 20 months ago!

    Of course it all in the end comes down to whether Apple put in new hardware features (that directly use new components of the software) or just increase the functionality of the OS to an extent that demands more CPU/GPU or ram.
  22. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Honestly, this is more a political topic than an ipad topic. other manufacturers release updates more frequently and support their old tech for less time, so this is not an apple issue. It's more so than a technology/political/consumerism topic, and therefore this is the wrong forum for it.
  23. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    I just don't get posts like these. Apple sold 15 million of the original iPad and 40 million of the iPad 2 (I'm fudging a bit here because the 40 million was 2011's total which also threw in some iPad 1 sales). That doesn't mean 15 million iPad 1s went into landfills. Same is true when we see the total sales for 2012 (should be somewhere over 50 million). Not every buyer has identical needs/expectations and there are lots of people who are happy to have any access to these types of devices. The "woe is me, a new version just made my current version less status-y" argument is something that is really unique to the young(er) people around here. My wife, who is fairly hip and in her late 40's is more concerned about how fashion-forward her iPad's (1st gen) case is than whether it's the "latest" technology - it does the same job today that it did when I bought it for her when it came out. There are likely a few hundred people here who are passionate about latest-and-greatest, multiply that out by other fan sites and you still end up at a fairly small percentage of the consuming public.
  24. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    mobile tech is accelerating because it's so bad. devices, tech, software are accelerating so rapidly because all of it just isn't good enough yet. once everything reaches a minimum "good enough" phase, it will slow down and stabilize. we don't run out and buy new refrigerators every year because for the most part they're all good enough, but i bet everyone changed from the good old fashioned ice box to an electric fridge as soon as they could afford it.

Share This Page