Would an iPhone (any model) last at least 10 years?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by RocketRed, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    My friends have dumbphones that they've had since high school. It still works today, although they are slowly switching to smartphones.

    I was wondering how long would smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberries.. etc) last? Would their life last just as long as dumbphones? Or would the average smartphone last shorter than the average dumbphone? Why and why not?

    I tried googling this question and on yahoo answers, but i couldn't find an opinion on the matter. I say opinion and not fact, because I don't believe there has been any extensive testing/observation on the subject.

    *Note: Please don't talk about upgrading phones or debating if Android or iPhone is better. I just want to know your opinion/experience with life expectancy of smartphones.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    The oldest iPhone, the iPhone 2G/original, is 5 years old as of now. They are a little outdated, but can still do smartphone things.
     
  3. aziatiklover macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

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    Yes my original iphone is still in good working condition and it has been 5 years!
     
  4. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #4
    The batteries start to get pretty bad past about 2 years of use, but they can be replaced so I don't know if you count that as an issue or not.

    While it's possible I don't think it's likely. My iPhone 3G got 2 years of use from me and then 1.5 years of use from my mother-in-law. I got it back when she upgraded her phone and currently the wifi on the 3G doesn't work so well. Some days it works and some days it doesn't.

    What happened? I don't know, just general wear and tear. Stuff inside gets jostled around. Eventually little things stop working.

    So while one could last that long I certainly wouldn't plan on it unless it wasn't getting constant use and wasn't being carried around in a pocket every day.
     
  5. Indy21 macrumors 6502

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    I can believe one would last at least 10 years but the battery, like mentioned before may need replacing halfway down the road.

    Guess it really depends on how well you take care of the smartphone not dropping it numerous times, getting it wet, things like that.

    Other than software being unsupported over a certain length of time basic functions of the smartphone should work pretty well.
     
  6. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

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    #6
    Yes, with a battery replacement it will.

    My co-worker still uses the original iPhone sometimes. He has the 4S and a GS3 but kept the original iPhone. It works fine for all the simple tasks it was designed to do and even some apps. Calling, texting, browsing on 2G etc work fine.

    My PC laptop is 6 years old running windows 7 and is still running like a champ. Of course running the latest photo shop or games is out of question but rest is good.

    If you take care of your electronics, majority of them will last for quite a long time contrary to popular belief.
     
  7. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040

    Roessnakhan

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    #7
    I imagine the home button would go, given its heavy use. Also, I don't imagine the battery would make 10 years.
     
  8. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

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  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #9
    The 2G's home button is very robust. It is a real switch, unlike the 3G and newer iDevices.
     
  10. RocketRed thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    They made the Nokia N9 using their own OS (MeeGo).

    They make the Lumia series which run on Windows Phone OS.
     
  11. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    There's your answer.
     
  12. RocketRed thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Answer to what? It doesn't answer my topic question since you failed to mention your experience.

    I answered your question because you didn't know if Nokia made smartphones.
     
  13. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

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    #13
    Exactly case closed, you should mark this thread as solved.
     
  14. RocketRed thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    whats wrong with you?
     
  15. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #15
    Technically, it should work (barring battery issues), but in actual practice I doubt it could.

    There's a huge difference between the two, what they're used for, and what's expected of them.

    Using the home equivalents, someone could have a rotary wall phone from the '40s that would still fully work and function as a phone.

    Conversely, a computer only 10 years old would barely function as it was intended as most websites add far more scripting and media as current computers can handle them.


    Smartphones are no different.... and as RAM and processor requirements increase, the phone would feel slower and slower. Not to mention the actual speed of the phone. The original iPhone was stuck on the Edge network which, while fine at the time, is painfully slow to most nowadays. Who's to say that in 10 years, 3G/ LTE wouldn't be looked at in the same regard?
     
  16. RocketRed thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Interesting analogy. I had a discussion with friends and their opinion was that smartphones wouldn't last as long as dumbphones, due to complex circuitry/parts. Also, as you mentioned smartphones are currently consistently getting more powerful every year.

    I wouldn't consider battery an issue with age as it is user-replaceable.
     
  17. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #17
    Circuitry and parts matter more on how one cares for their phone than the actual parts themselves although an older phone may take more abuse due to the larger parts/ thicker plastics.

    I'd go as far to say that a smartphone could even be locked away in a clean room under perfect conditions and, after 10 years, it wouldn't work well enough to be used as a daily phone (if at all).

    After all, it's not like you can still use an analog phone of the 90's.
     
  18. doingitlive macrumors member

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    #18
    Anything will last if you take care of it and the standards for using that item are in use....
     
  19. cynics macrumors G4

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    #19
    If taken care of the phone might last, may need a battery replacement though. The carriers might not though. Currently Verizon has a plan to go all LTE and in ten years probably won't have any 3G capability left. So it's hard to say what the carriers will allow on there network in ten years. Phone portion may still work but I'd want it to be a gsm phone.
     
  20. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #20
    This is an impossible question to answer with any degree of certainty. A lot is going to depend on how much said phone is getting used and abused over those ten years. Theoretically the phone can last ten years. There is nothing about the phone that is going to "decay" over that much time. That said, my fiance's iPhone 4 home button is starting to go. She has never dropped it, gotten it wet, etc. I also wouldn't say she uses it excessively. With any luck, the phone will last many, many years, but certain components can just as easily fail.

    When talking technology, I personally don't buy anything anymore expecting it to last me a decade. Our flatscreen is going on five years now. I feel like we got our money's worth. We probably won't replace it for another five years, as long as it lasts that long. If it doesn't, I still won't feel gipped. I had a flatscreen Acer computer monitor that had the backlight go out on it after four years of use. I did, however, play computer games heavily over those four years, so I still felt I got my money's worth. At the same time, our other Acer (not widescreen) is going on six years old, but it has much less use on it.
     
  21. OceanView macrumors 65816

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    #21
    I think it can be done.
    10 year old dumb phones still work today but would you want to still use it?
    This can apply to cars as well.
    If you are environmentally concerned then yes you should try to use your phone as long as possible. Now if we could only convince the rest of the world with their constant desire to buy the newest model to do the same, we would all be in a better place.
     
  22. AppleBoyFreak macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Haha, I guess the OP doesn't get te whole "nokias are indestructible" thing.
     
  23. SR45 macrumors 65832

    SR45

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    #23
    My old flip phone was put out to pasture a while back, and a friend needed a phone right away, so I gave her my old LG flip which worked well for her, and now the phone is a bit over 8 years old. The smart phone in my opinion can last about as long giving that a new battery is installed, and one takes good care of it, but we all know these phones are mishandled, dropped from time to time, so its the luck of the draw. If one only needs the smartphone for calls and photos after 5 yrs, not using 3G/4G stuff, I thing it can be done.

    Many smartphone fanatics would never keep a smartphone even two years, since they want the latest and greatest technology out today so they probably can never answer the OP's question :p
     
  24. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #24
    Or they came here asking a question that they wanted a real answer to and not attempts on humor based on an internet meme.


    ----------

    No, it can't.

    While it may not have the same features, comfort, or gas mileage, a 100 year old car has the same primary goal as a modern car (driving from point A to B). This is not the case with smartphones versus non-smartphones where one is supposed to do so much more than just make phone calls.

    Again, a smartphone could easily last the 10 years, but it's usefulness due to technological leaps will likely make it, for all intents, non-functional.

    ----------

    If they only need a smartphone for calls and photos, they don't need a smartphone.
     
  25. Ryno76 macrumors member

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    #25
    personally I think it'll be pretty rare that a smartphone will last 10 years. Companies that make computers/phones/monitors/washers/dryers...etc. want you to keep buying...and the only way to do that is to have a product life span of so many years. While there are these products that might last this long, it depends on how heavy its used and what you are looking to use it for. My original iphone took a beating (after I handed it down to my neice)and the camera stopped working and the screen started to fritz out....

    In all reality...as a consumer who likes to always have newer things, i'll just keep buying and not worry about the 10 years....there will always be something newer and up to date.

    It really is a tough question to answer....who knows...i guess we'll find out in 5 years.....
     

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