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22 juillet 2010 4 22 /07 /juillet /2010 17:13

OK, yesterday Apple announced their newest version of the iPhone - the iPhone 3GS. They also announced a number of new MacBooks and MacBook Pro models, for example      (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery)       .

Today the internet is burning up with complaints, expletives, petitions and all manner of commentary about the "outrageous" and "totally inflated" upgrade pricing from AT&T, O2 and other providers in various countries. People are visibly shocked that they will have to pay about the same for the iPhone 3GS that they paid for their iPhone 3G models a year ago         (Sony VGP-BPS8 battery)         .

Let me tell you a story:

Less than a year ago I bought a MacBook Pro. It cost me a lot of money but I needed it for business and that's that. A MacBook Pro is a computer and not a phone (humour me - this is going somewhere...) and so is not tied to a mobile phone contract or provider in any way      (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery)     .

I like the look of the new MacBook Pros. If I want to "upgrade" and have a new MacBook Pro, I realise that I'm going to have to go out and pay around the same amount of money again to buy one (maybe less as the prices have gone down - but not much       (Dell Studio 1737 battery)      .

There is NO "upgrade path" or special "trade-in" offer from Apple - and why should there be? They're running a business much like many other companies do     (Ibm ThinkPad X41 Tablet   battery)       .

Now then. A similar story with my iPhone 3G. I like the look of the iPhone 3GS and think the video abilities look cool. I bought my iPhone 3G the day they were available here in Switzerland and extended my mobile provider contract by 2 years to get a reasonable price. By the way: I, like everybody else who read the product description before buying their iPhone 3Gs, knew what I was getting for the money AND have benefited from new features by virtue of software upgrades since    (SONY VGP-BPS8 battery)   .

The iPhone 3GS will be available here in Switzerland soon and it looks like the price to extend a contract by 2 years and obtain an iPhone 3GS will probably be about the same as it was when I did this        (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery)        .

So, it's the same situation as the MacBook Pro: It will cost me about the same again to buy the newer model of something.

This sounds about right to me and I really cannot understand all of the fuss       (SONY VGP-BPS8 battery)       .

Here's why:

If I buy a new laptop I will have to sell the old one on eBay or somewhere to claw back some of the money I've spent on the new one. The same will be true of the iPhone 3GS - buy new, keep/give/sell/throw away the old one        (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery)       .

An iPhone is a piece of technology, a commodity consumer product. The fact that it's tied to a telecoms provider contract is solely down to it's nature - that it really does need to have an ability to use telecom features (because it's a phone, right?). Other than that, there's no difference whatsoever between it and another commodity product such as a laptop, a digital camera, a television, a car, a fridge, etc. etc          (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery)         .

Please, please, understand and accept this.

The fact that the iPhone 3G I bought before was heavily subsidised because it was tied to a telecoms contract - and that the new iPhone 3GS would be subject to the same kind of heavy subsidy - is purely a useful side-effect of the fact that mobile telecoms companies want to attract new customers. Otherwise we'd have to pay around 4-5 times as much for the device       (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery)       !

Telecoms providers also have a habit of giving new customers a significantly better deal than existing ones - a fact of life that we just have to live with, I'm afraid. Accept this too - or change provider if you're lucky enough to have two or more providers in your geography who sell the iPhone 3GS     (Sony VGN-FZ460E battery)         .

Case in point: I had to pay CHF 320 and extend my contract for two years when I bought my iPhone 3G. New customers only had to pay CHF 99 and take out a new 2-year contract for the same model. If I upgrade to a new iPhone 3GS, I'm sure I'll have to pay at least the same and maybe more because I only extended my contract just over a year ago. I may not even be ABLE to extend my contract as there are always limits to how often and when one can do this         (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery)        .

This is the World we live in. With the exception of cars, none of the items I mentioned above can be "traded in" for an upgrade to a newer model. Cars can only be traded in because the dealer will give you a bad deal and sell your old car on at a profit           (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery)           .

The sad thing about new mobile phones (including iPhones, even though they are more mobile computing device than mobile phone) is that no telecoms provider will want your old phone because it's - guess what? It's OBSOLETE. So sell it privately, use the money you get to help pay for the new model - but first, make sure you can extend your mobile contract and are even entitled to get a new iPhone 3GS at a decent price           (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery)         .

Then just enjoy shooting videos and using the new compass and realise that the telecoms companies actually aren't responsible for you wanting a new phone so soon and they have no reason to really care. It's business, not charity      (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery)      .

If you really have an issue with the price you'll have to pay for something which is actually a new product, then enjoy the FREE OS 3.0 upgrade          (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery)            .

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