Becka is an amateur software developer from Georgia. He’s interested in blockchain and AI.

The year 2020 has started off quite roughly: the new COVID-19 virus, already dubbed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, spread across the world quite rapidly, already infecting hundreds of thousands and killing tens of thousands of people.

In light of such tragic developments, it may very well seem a little bit inconsiderate to talk about smartphones and tech stuff, but if humanity has learned anything in its entire existence, it’s that the tragic events that ravage us shouldn’t consume us entirely and that through our cooperation and involvement in everyday life we will overcome any difficulty in front of us.

That’s why it is still relevant to talk about what’s currently going on in the smartphone industry and, more importantly, how Coronavirus helps us understand some of the underlying issues within it.

Having new smartphones every year

We’ve all got accustomed to having new and upgraded smartphones every single year. Apple has its regular Special Events in September of every year where the company offers us its yet another take on the legendary “one more thing.” Samsung does the same thing in Spring, and all other companies also do the same thing.

And don’t get me wrong – it is very exciting to wait for every major or minor upgrade of our daily drivers, see new camera modules, improved speakers and displays, and all sorts of similar stuff. However, even in light of this frenzied race towards continuous upgrades, we shouldn’t forget that as we move forward, the new smartphones and their features become less ground-breaking than those that came before.

Sure, there was a time when the development of the multitouch display was a revolution in the smartphone industry; the same can be true about the improvement of mobile cameras, the ability to record video, introducing the real operating systems that were much better than those Symbian or Java junks.
New smartphones aren’t that revolutionary anymore

But that time is over. The new devices that are released annually almost never make our jaws drop from amazement. Yes, it is good to have a slightly sharper and more vivid display, to have one or two GB more RAM, slightly bigger battery, flash memory, etc. however, those aren’t the sort of upgrades we mentioned earlier.

But up until this moment, smartphone manufacturers were reluctant to realize this situation and act accordingly. It’s like they know their inventiveness span is slowly dying down and their devices don’t blow their customers’ minds, but they’re still partaking in this rat race that demands new phones every single year.

Coronavirus makes us question things In this sense, the COVID-19 outbreak brought an opportunity to pose quite an important question: do we really need new smartphones every single year? Here’s what’s going on in the 2020 smartphone market right now: all the planned announcement events are effectively postponed/canceled, at least those that were planned for the Summer; but even the Fall events are likely sharing the same fate.

The companies, including Apple, have already made announcements that their events will be held online. But what’s more is that there may actually be the possibility of some new devices not being released this year at all. This goes to show that we can actually do okay if we don’t get a new device. We haven’t even flinched when the rumors and suspicions started to come in.

And one of the reasons why this may be the case is that we seldom update our smartphones annually. They have actually gotten pretty powerful for us and our needs and we don’t need a newly upgraded device that would handle our everyday tasks much better than our current phone.

So, do we need new smartphones in general? Of course, we do, our lives have become so intertwined with them that they’re likely not going anywhere anytime soon. But do we need new smartphones every single year? Probably not. The smartphones that we now have and read this article are pretty decent and don’t need an immediate upgrade.

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Becka is an amateur software developer from Georgia. He’s interested in blockchain and AI.


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