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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Why I’m not buying the iPhone 15

iPhone innovation died with Steve Jobs

Apple has released 38 models of iPhones since 2007, including its newest line of iPhone 15 models.

The original iPhone was a groundbreaking invention that provided users with portable access to the internet, music and a camera all on one device. Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone was marketed as a complete “reinvention” of the phone — and it truly was.

Apple used to release a “new and improved” iPhone once a year, which typically offered significant improvement between models.

In 2008, the iPhone 3G offered 3G connectivity, a revolutionary technology that allowed users to access the internet from any location via phone towers. The following year, the iPhone 3GS was released, upgrading the camera to three megapixels and adding video recording capabilities.

The iPhone’s subsequent models changed the way millions of people lived their lives. Instead of relying on external global positioning system (GPS) devices, alarm clocks, music players and computers, iPhone users could access all the tools they needed right from their mobile device.

But a lot’s changed since 2007. Now, Apple releases new iPhones multiple times a year with only slight innovations. The pressure to produce has come at the expense of genuine improvement and product quality.

In 2014, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models were touted as the thinnest iPhones with the biggest screens. But an apparent lack of care and durability testing from Apple proved devastating for some users, as many complained that their iPhones were bending in their pockets.

 This controversy, dubbed “bendgate” by the media, was originally brushed off by Apple, who claimed that this occurrence was “extremely rare.” However, internal documents revealed the software company was fully aware of fundamental design defects that made these models more prone to bending.

Quality issues continued with reports of the iPhone X exploding due to battery defects.

The iPhone 15 Pro, which launched last month, is no different from some of its more problematic predecessors.

As you may have seen in recent commercials, Apple has proudly marketed its latest release as being “made with titanium.” The software company boasts of increased durability at a much lighter weight than previous models.

But the use of this metal, often used for industrial applications in the aerospace industry, has lent itself to a new set of issues for the iPhone. 

While titanium offers more durability and corrosion resistance than stainless steel, the high cost of production associated with subtractive manufacturing processes makes its prolonged use in large-scale iPhone production unsustainable. 

Apart from the ethical and environmental concerns associated with titanium mining and disposal, the iPhone 15 Pro’s titanium frame is also susceptible to “temporary discoloration” through direct skin contact with the edges of the phone. Further, reports of the iPhone 15 overheating, which some attribute to its titanium frame, are enough to discourage some consumers — myself included — from purchasing the latest model.

The iPhone 15, laden with functional and ethical concerns, is yet another addition to the iPhone line that is nearly indistinguishable from previous generations. 

Once a revolutionary technology that paved the way for smartphone invention, the iPhone has lost its innovative edge, swapping ingenuity and quality for mass production and profit. 

Alex Olen is an opinion editor and can be reached at alex.olen@ubspectrum.com

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