Will next generation devices make your current ones obsolete? Benjamin Epelix writes:

Do you think the rumor is true about the next generation iPad and iPad mini coming this month (March of 2013)? Because if it is, I won’t be too happy since I just bought the iPad fourth generation in December of 2012. If Apple is really going to release the next generation iPad and iPad mini in March, this situation is just like what happened to the people who bought the iPad third generation — those people realize that their iPads are outdated in just five months!

Will Next Generation Devices Make Mine Obsolete?
Will next generation devices make mine obsolete?

It’s possible, Benjamin, and I understand that it feels like you’re missing out on having the latest and greatest, but keep in mind that what’s new today will be old tomorrow; next generation devices are always on the way. Should we stop buying technology simply because it keeps evolving?

Next Generation Devices Are Last Generation Devices Waiting to Happen (and That’s Fine)

Unless your current system self-destructs for reasons beyond its regularly scheduled behavior, it’ll still function as it has been functioning — no matter when you purchased it (unexpected hardware hiccups notwithstanding). It’s always been a cold hard fact that having the latest technology is only valid for a little while — be that a year, six months, or two weeks. The good news is that next generation devices that commonly update every year — whether we’re talking about iPads or automobiles — are fairly incremental in what they have to offer consumers.

Changes Are Usually Minor from This Generation to Next Generation Devices

The really big changes usually take years to manifest. Most consumers who live on any kind of budget (that’s almost all of us) upgrade these devices every few years rather than every time a new version comes out. This isn’t just because the “old” devices work fine, but because the “new” devices don’t generally include features that make them monumentally different from what came out the year before to warrant the expense. Despite the notion of planned obsolescence, it’s not in the best interests of a device manufacturer like Apple to simply churn out junk that’s going to be scorned by the people who buy its stuff. Hoping that its next iteration of that same junk would attract suckers — new and old — to plunk down an unending supply of cash would be a poor, doomed-to-fail strategy that would quickly kill off whatever client base it had managed to amass over the years.

Next Generation Devices Are Meant to Be Enjoyed at the Leisure of the Consumer

Next generation devices are meant to be enjoyed at the leisure of the consumer while keeping all of us excited about the innovations that their creators can dream up. Sure, manufacturers would love it if we could all buy every version of every device that they want to push our way, but they’re not reasonably expecting that this is going to happen. Still, it doesn’t hurt them to remind us that their products are constantly in a state of flux, and if we don’t want to buy this generation of what they have to offer, then perhaps we’ll keep them in mind next time we’re in the market to do so.

What makes a device obsolete, anyway? By what you’ve decided you want and need, and not what happens to be offered by a company a few months after you’ve purchased one of its devices, you do — and that’s a good thing! Enjoy the power of owning something that you had to have at the point of purchase rather than being upset with a company for giving you new things to want!

Next generation devices will keep on coming — and I’m grateful for that fact.

Image: iPad by Sean MacEntee via Flickr