112 iPhone XS’s = one house. And the update lifetime of a new iPhone.

I was thinking about my iPhone X today, the upcoming iOS 13, and how much these devices cost, as well as their lifetimes.

My partner recently bought a new iPhone XS directly from Apple here in Japan. It has 256 GB of storage and he also went for AppleCare Plus.

In February, we both also bought our nice, little house here in Tokyo.

While comparing apples and oranges, it is curious to note that the cost of our house is equivalent to just 112 iPhone XS iPhones. I’m thinking of a small stack of iPhone X boxes, 10 wide and 11 high. That would easily fit on my computer desk, next to my MBP. It seems weird to think that such a small number of iPhones has the price value of our 3 story house.

While I’m waxing philosophical, I was also looking at the upgrade lifetime of new iPhones. iOS 13 will drop support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They were released in 2014. That means the iOS upgrade lifetime of an iPhone is just 5 years. On the other hand, my MBP (late 2013 retina) can still be upgraded this fall to the new macOS Catalina. Even 2012 MacBook Pro’s can. So the upgrade lifetime of a Mac is 7 years. Is the difference for marketing reasons, or are there technical reasons why it’s not possible to upgrade an iPhone 6 to iOS 13?

Of course I realize that an iPhone 6 doesn’t suddenly become useless just because it can’t run iOS 13. But iPhones are expensive. If they cost $1,000+ new and can only be upgraded for 5 years, that’s $200/year upgrade life. Better than Androids of course. But still, it makes me wonder at how materialistic I’ve gotten. Or we have all gotten.

I rarely feel like upgrading my computer. I think most people are that way. Yet we seem to always want to upgrade our iPhones. I have done so regularly every 2 years at least since they first became available in Japan.

My conclusions? None really. But I do feel like maybe it makes sense to use iPhones as long as computers, and maybe it isn’t necessary to upgrade so often, as long as the battery is kept in good shape. But then, there are those regular camera improvements…


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