Keep it green – do not upgrade your iPhone

We’re back again in iPhone mania season with so many people dreaming upgrading to yet another new gadget.   And there are really so many reasons to do that.

It is amazing how Apple and other phone manufacturers and carriers in US play together to encourage waste.   Most of people use contracts with their wireless carriers which subsidize phone purchase but which make monthly charges, especially for Data very expensive.

Rumor is the Apple getting $600 per device from carriers which is sold for $199 which means $400 per device is subsidized.  Divide it by 24 months (2 years) and you get some 17$ a month of your subscription fee is used to subsidize the phone.

I’m using Iphone 3GS for about 3 years now.  I must praise Apple for quality – it is scratched and cracked but it still works, holds battery life and can run all the applications I really need. It also works as a phone… which well it is.

Yet I do not get any discount by keeping my old phone… on the contrary I feel like I’m wasting money but not taking advantage of something I’m paying for.  How many people feel the same ?  I would guess a lot and this can be a reason to upgrade for many.

I hate to see people coersed to get devices which they might not overwise need and which provide huge amount of waste. Apple claims to sell some 15M of devices by the end of the year.  How many of these will really make a difference in peoples like and how much will be a new toy for a week and when used the same way as the old phone while causing resource waste ?  Many perhaps.

To be fair your phone is not the largest polutant out there yet this is perhaps one of thouse cases when you’re the most encouraged to waste.  If you’re buying new car it unlikely will be subsidized to the same extent… and also you will likely use less gas while driving it.

I find many technical gadgets to be good enough to be kept for a long time these days. They are just good enough for what I use them for and upgrade would unlikely give me anything more than couple of days of excitement of new toy.  For example I’m still using Kindle 2 for more than 3 years as well as my Dell desktop for about same time.  This would not look like extremely long use form any of you but it is for me – previously I had an itch to update my hardware much more frequently.

Where I still see improvements important for me being made is laptops.  I’ve been changing laptops about once per year resently because I dammaged and lost some, other died and I am also still looking for more – decent power to run the applications and yet enough battery life to last transatlantic flight together with desent weight.  I have not found the perfect one yet… but when I will I will likely keep it for a long while.


3 thoughts on “Keep it green – do not upgrade your iPhone

  1. Valentine

    Overall I would agree with your message. There is a lot of waste mankind produce and it’s increasing over time and maybe it’s ahead of the quality of life people experience.
    On the other hand if you look at this as a software update, it makes perfect sense to upgrade to new iPhone as far as it fixes some disadvantages of an old one, e.g. iPhone 4(S) has much more superior screen comparing to 3GS. Would you recommend your users to hold on to update their MySQL software because they should have been satisfied with their current software?

  2. Ovais Tariq

    Its more of a hype and PR factor that coerces users to buy new phones, and I agree with you for majority of the people it does not really change how they use their phone. Other then that I have also noticed iPhone being touted as a luxury item or a fashion product, something that must be adopted at all costs.

    P.S. I myself am an iPhone 4 user 🙂

  3. Peter Post author


    There is the difference between software upgrade and hardware one. I am all for upgrading software on your iPhone and in fact the fact OS upgrades are available for old hardware for iPhones is one of the great advantages for me other Android phones which often do not get any major software upgrade.

    When it comes to MySQL it is different in 2 reasons – it there is no direct cost because it is open source and there is no environment cost due to physical waste either. Yet I do not recommend people to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading and many applications are indeed better left on the older version they are running – if it works why risk with the change ?


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