back to article Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

In the late '90s, Eric Schmidt was an accessible tech CEO with a problem. Novell's product was so good and so reliable nobody needed to upgrade it. If one day people decided to stop using their current version, they wouldn't switch to another version of Novell, the one that Eric was trying to sell, but something else entirely. I …

mrdalliard
Thumb Up

Have to agree....

The two reasons why I've not upgraded from my 6S:

- iOS12 Has generally been OK.

- My phone has a headphone socket.

Not sure I have enough "courage" to abandon that one yet....

A Non e-mouse
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Have to agree....

My phone has a headphone socket.

I have an iPhone 8 and I miss that headphone socket as I don't always have the same headphones with me and the adapter is never with the headphones I currently have.

ratfox
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Have to agree....

I started with bluetooth earbuds a couple of weeks ago; I have to say it's easier to get used to it than I thought it would be. Because of the lack of long wires, it's much simpler to carry them around wherever you go. When I forget to charge them, I'll probably curse the world for the rest of the day, but so far I don't miss the wires.

The only issue I can see is that wireless headphones are so convenient that a lot more people isolate themselves from the world while commuting or having coffee. I'll quote the mandatory relevant XKCD

Cavehomme_
FAIL

Re: Have to agree....

- No fingerprint ID

- No headphone socket

- ridiculous notch

- glass back, making it very fragile

- no longer the SE or 4" option who prefer to carry a phone in our pockets, and have something bigger in our trousers taking up more space.

- No longer a phone on the range retailing at £300 or less (SE)

That's just the phones! Another long list of where Macbooks have gone wrong.

Tim Nice But Dim is not the right man to lead the company. He's also let the arrogant tosser St Ives and Dame Burberry turn the company into producing impractical devices for shiny fashion victims in the consumer sector.

Tim99
Silver badge
Gimp

Re: Have to agree....

Earlier this year I upgraded my 6 to an X. I was quite happy with the 6 until it started to have intermittent problems charging. A bit of experimentation showed that the problem was with the lightening connector, and that cleaning it did not improve things. I was just about to go on a longish trip and my wife suggested that I replace the phone - At her suggestion (because the screen was better, honest guv), I bought the X instead of a 7 or 8.

I must say that, for me, it was a noticeable improvement. FaceID seems to work better than fingerprints (I suspect that may be because many older people’s prints are relatively indistinct) and swiping up seems easier than clicking. I did not own many 3.5mm accessories, so that was not a problem. BUT the article is correct, I will not be replacing the X unless I have too (or until my wife wants to upgrade to my X?).

steviebuk
Silver badge

Re: Have to agree....

It was Steve Jobs that did.

Ed

Re: Have to agree....

I've noticed with my parents how Touch ID was often an issue for them. I was skeptical about Face ID, especially for payments but I've actually found it works better in almost every situation. The only real issue is unlocking the phone while it's in landscape mode which can be a bit annoying.

Oodles of Noodles

Re: Have to agree....

Just so very stunned about your comment regarding 'Tim-nice-but-dim'. I mean, he says such nice things about you and everything you have accomplished.

Joking aside, I ( as many other people have ) went through the journey of Ericsson, Sony, Android, Apple 6s, back to Android Google Nexus, Another Sony, back to Apple 6s, and finally have paid the so-called 'idiot tax' for an Apple Xs.

I really like the phone and the camera. I hate that I have to use google maps and all the tracking it entails 'cos the apple version is just not up to speed.

I like the device. You don't. I do not think you are an idiot for not liking it or the price.

Each to their own.

Neil Anderson

Re: Have to agree....

Two words: AirPods.

Neil Anderson

Re: Have to agree....

I thought fingerprint ID was the cat's meow till I tried Face ID.

Ralph B

Re: Have to agree....

Last week I finally decided to upgrade from my 5S. Since Apple currently sell nothing of the same form factor and nothing with a headphone socket, I ended up getting a 2nd hand SE. Very happy with it.

D@v3

Re: Headphone jack

i've been mostly using bluetooth headphones and speakers for a few years and generally have very few issues with them, but there are still times when being able to plug in a pair of headphones, or speakers, or connect into a stereo / hi-fi that is very useful, and i'd rather not have to carry around an adapter, just in case.

Also, if say, i am in the car with my phone connected to the Aux with the lightning adapter, how am i supposed to charge it?

ThomH
Silver badge

Re: Have to agree.... @Tim99

To one-up you, hopefully not to your disappointment: my 6s was similarly affected — charging slowly devolved from remembering to put the cable in at the proper angle, to wiggling it about a bit until charging started, to wiggling it about a lot and then putting the thing down very carefully. I tried compressed air, I tried a vacuum cleaner, I tried sufficiently-miniature tooth-cleaning products. I believed the thing was done for.

I booked an appointment at the Apple Store that I pass every day anyway, to formalise the bad news and to ask about trade-in prices but they did quite the opposite: the assistant tried cleaning it with a specialised small brush, to limited effect, then peered in and confirmed that some of the pins looked like they'd ended up bent a little too far to retain their necessary springiness.

Then she took the phone into the back room for about fifteen minutes, used an unspecified machine on the thing, and brought it back good as new. Cables click into place and the thing always charges and no longer randomly disconnects when I'm using it in the car for directions.

So, ummm, Apple's service, even for well out-of-warranty products, has cost them at least one phone sale. I wouldn't expect the same outcome with a competitor just because they don't have the High Street presence, so you can't just walk in and get the diagnosis right there. At best there'd have been a whole extra level of phone queues and service requests and posting things back and forth, but likely there'd have been nothing.

I'm not averse to a new iPhone as for my money wireless charging undoes the loss of the headphone socket and I still don't understand the notch controversy, but I was always fine with the Office ribbon too so I may just be a poor representative of tech news comment posters.

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Have to agree....

XKCD has evolved to the point where it can be used as a counter-point too: https://xkcd.com/2055/

therealmav

Re: Headphone jack

Also, if say, i am in the car with my phone connected to the Aux with the lightning adapter, how am i supposed to charge it?

you cant, but you could

1. connect it to the cars usb socket instead and playback through that and charge at the same time

2. use bluetooth to play music, whilst charging thro lightning

FlamingDeath
Bronze badge

Re: Have to agree.... @Tim99

Great, so you were fortunate enough to have been served by someone who gave a shit and thought to themselves, "your face fits"

You could very well of gone there another day and been served by a completely different personality and had a completely different experience. Companies dont make the people. People make the companies. Keep that in mind

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Ethical ?

They don't give a shit if the profits are rolling in on the back of mugs paying a fortune for their wares.

katrinab
Silver badge

When you consider that my iPhone 6+ with a £25 battery replacement runs just as well as a brand new phone, whereas a Samsung Galaxy Note would have long since fallen to bits and at the time cost about the same, the iPhone actually works out a lot cheaper.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

>When you consider that my iPhone 6+ with a £25 battery replacement runs just as well as a brand new phone, whereas a Samsung Galaxy Note

I have a HTC wildfire that's fully working oh and it takes micro SD cards allowing it to be still used as a high capacity walkman and a handy back up phone. Can you put a Micro SD in an iphone 4 which was released at the same time ?

Oh and my s2 galaxy is still going strong thanks.

Only in the minds of appletards do their products last forever and others self destruct after 5 seconds a la mission impossible.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

I can't speak about the Galaxy Note, but the Galaxy S3, S4 and S5 that my partner and I owned are all still going strong, all of which older than your 6+. I think the idea that iPhones last longer than their android brethren is largely a myth, at least as far as the hardware is concerned.

Where there may be a valid point is in software support - Apple clearly support their hardware for longer. However, if you're the type to tinker there is often the option of flashing to a non-manufacturer build (e.g. LineageOS) to keep it up to date on patches. That's not for everyone, I grant you, but it's probably more relevant to the reg reader than the average punter.

Refurbished iPhones are a bargain - but then again that's really just an admission that while there *is* a market for long in the tooth iPhones this will only get you a modest percentage of the next shiny if you're a frequent upgrader. Once they're over a few months old Androids have pretty much zero resale value, but they often find their way to friends and family instead and run for years.

In real world pricing (not RRP) iPhones probably cost 50% over Samsung/Sony/etc flagship prices, or 100-200% over the chinese "near flagship" Androids. Comparing the actual longevity of the devices concerned I can't see it really justifies that price differential.

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I think Andrew is being a little sarcastic in this article.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Ethical ?

I found the ideas discussed in the article a bit tricky so "WAAAAAHHHHH THEY'RE EXPENSIVE AND YOU ARE ALL MUGS!!!!"

johnnyblaze

I'm sorry, that's bull. If you look after your phone, whatever the model, it should last a long time and work reliably. Apple tried to enforce obscelesance in their products when they forced the slowdown of older phones (no matter how they spin it). iPhones generally don't las that long anyway, not because of iOS, but because they're so fragile. I can't remember the last iPhone I saw that didn't have a cracked/broken screen. Not to say other manufacturers don't have the similar issues, but none are as bad as the iPhone.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

>iPhone I saw that didn't have a cracked/broken screen. Not to say other manufacturers don't have the similar issues, but none are as bad as the iPhone.

That's because users of other phone brands are sensible and buy a flip case to protect it where as iPhone users like to show off that they can get themselves into more debt than a Latin American country just to be as blingy as a cast member from The Only Way Is Essex.

Anonymous Coward
Mike Moyle
Silver badge

"I have a HTC wildfire that's fully working oh and it takes micro SD cards allowing it to be still used as a high capacity walkman and a handy back up phone. Can you put a Micro SD in an iphone 4 which was released at the same time ?

"Oh and my s2 galaxy is still going strong thanks."

Are they both running the latest Android system -- WITHOUT modding/jailbreaking? Because, as noted in the article, the Apple 6 is. The ability to keep up with security/functionality updates is a big issue for some of us. (Note: I have several Apple computers and an iPad, all of which are fully up-to-date, system-software-wise (My previous desktop was a Mirrored Drive Door G4 duallie that I used for ten years or so, or about two years after they stopped posting security updates for PPC systems.) My phone is a Samsung S8, updated from my old S3 because that one was no longer seeing updates and felt like it was slowing down, and I felt that I had better ways to spend my leisure time than fiddle-farting around with the internals. YMMV.

Waseem Alkurdi

Are they both running the latest Android system -- WITHOUT modding/jailbreaking? Because, as noted in the article, the Apple 6 is. The ability to keep up with security/functionality updates is a big issue for some of us.

Why did you arbitrarily exclude rooting and installing a 7.1.2 custom ROM?

You are of El Reg's readership. The standard is higher here.

Waseem Alkurdi

Refurbished iPhones are a bargain - but then again that's really just an admission that while there *is* a market for long in the tooth iPhones this will only get you a modest percentage of the next shiny if you're a frequent upgrader.

I bought an iPhone 7 on eBay for $210.(for my younger brother, nah, can't be seen using iPhones in public ^_^)

How exactly is it different than an iPhone 8, other than the glass back and moving poop emoji?

And it wouldn't be any different than the iPhone X gang had Samsung not upped the ante and produced a curved-display phone.

TL;DR - Apple is no longer innovating, which justifies older flagship bargains!

Ledswinger
Silver badge

You are of El Reg's readership. The standard is higher here.

Most of us could root an Android and install Lineages. But as a process it is a friendly as a cornered rat, and IME the Lineages installs too often have bits that don't work properly per phone model. Why put myself through some tedium (with slight risk of bricking the phone) just to have a different OS that supports most of my phone's original capabilities?

I don't like, own or use Apple products. But I'll back the assertion of the poster claiming that Apple support their products much better and for much longer. Most Android makers give up on support no later than the end of production of the hardware.

Waseem Alkurdi

Most Android makers give up on support no later than the end of production of the hardware.

This, and all this.

This is because SoC vendors (ahem, Qualcomm) don't bother updating their proprietary drivers across Android version changes.

OEMs use them as a (perfectly valid) excuse to their greed.

Well, it's better than SoC "vendors" who don't bother releasing drivers (ahem, MediaTek).

So we gotta improvise.

AdamWill
Silver badge

it's not just about you

"Why did you arbitrarily exclude rooting and installing a 7.1.2 custom ROM? You are of El Reg's readership. The standard is higher here."

I'm not the OP, but I'm gonna answer: Because the article isn't exclusively about The Register's readership? It's "about" the whole market. It is a good thing in general that Apple actually keeps their older devices updated with security patches for a long time, *officially*. It is a bad thing that many Android phone vendors do not.

I have an Android phone, and I run Lineage on it, and I've been doing that with various Android phones for years. Fine for me! (Except actually, doing it is kind of a giant PITA I would be much happier to avoid, if there were a *single* vendor I could trust to sell me a good phone with non-spyware-riddled firmware and keep it updated for a few years. But...there isn't. So I keep losing hours of my life to working out the latest ins and outs of bootloader unlocks and root exploits and all the rest of it.) But it's *not* fine for the vast majority of Android phone owners, who don't realistically have that option. Their choices are to stay on the eternal yearly upgrade treadmill (not great for their wallet or for the environment), or use a phone with known security vulnerabilities. Having millions of people running known-insecure OSes is not good for *anyone*.

Apprentice

I have sold countless pre-owned Android phones over the years and can assure you they certainly do have considerably more than your ridiculous 'zero resale value' claim, even those more than 2 years old. It's just another myth that people quote without any actual real world experience.

This post has been deleted by its author

Waseem Alkurdi

To be honest, this statement has a little truth to it though.

I bought my Google Pixel XL used through eBay a few weeks ago for $150.

It cost $700 just two years ago.

But then again, I simultaneously got the aforementioned iPhone 7 from the same seller for $210, and that also cost $700 two years ago.

Both were in mint condition.

Spazturtle
Silver badge

"Apple tried to enforce obscelesance in their products when they forced the slowdown of older phones (no matter how they spin it)."

The slowdown only applied when the battery could no longer supply enough current to keep the CPU powered at full speed, usually when the battery charge dropped below 40%. So from 100% to 40% the CPU was running at full clock speed and from 39% to 0% it was running at reduced peak clockspeed.

Before the update the device would run at full clockspeed from 100% to 40% and then power off at 39% charge.

I'm not sure how anyone thinking logically can say that the device's behavior before the update was preferable. How is the device not working at all better then the device working but slightly slower?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

>The slowdown only applied when the battery could no longer supply enough current to keep the CPU powered at full speed

Apple told nobody about this and only fessed up with spin bullshit when they were caught out.

You'd have to be very credulous to believe them as you would if you found the postman conkers deep in your wife and accepted the explanation he was only popping something through the letterbox.

salamamba too

happily still using an original galaxy note. replacement battery (double size of original) was under £5.

Spazturtle
Silver badge

"You'd have to be very credulous to believe them as you would if you found the postman conkers deep in your wife and accepted the explanation he was only popping something through the letterbox."

You don't have to believe it, you can test it yourself, get an old iphone that doesn't have the update and leave a bench mark running on it, after a certain point the device will just power off even though it still has a charge, update it and repeat and you will see that after that same point it now stays on but the performance goes down once it gets to that point.

Sgt_Oddball
Silver badge

How so? My dad's still using a galaxy s3 that's only in the past couple of months started chugging (for the record most likely the memory is shot since he takes pics, empties them then fills it again. Tried to convince him to buy a memory card but keeps forgetting to leave it in).

He's getting my old s7 for Christmas (complete with my old memory card of 64gb which should last him).

This post has been deleted by its author

John Robson
Silver badge

Will probably upgrade...

one of the phones in the house at some point... Need to check where in the upgrade cycle we are at the moment.

But they go down through the family - the upgrade is really on a 4+year cycle... even if each of us see 'new' phones a bit faster than that...

TonyJ
Silver badge

Ethical behaviour

..."You've behaved ethically, putting long-term consumer concerns first..."

Up until now. Because it was easy to take that stance when they were selling massive quantities of phones.

But how long they continue to do this if their sales are slipping is anyone's guess but I would suspect "not that long" to be a fairly valid answer.

Gonzo wizard
Linux

Re: Ethical behaviour

The reason I have owned Apple laptops for ten years (and am now back on iPhones) is that they are built well, last far longer than a plastic laptop and have a good resale value when I replace them. If the quality of the hardware slips, that whole model falls apart. Independently of my own reasoning, the brand cachet simply isn't there if the devices look like they've been to hell and back after six months. Like, say, the iPhone 5 does.

The moment Apple blinks on this they will lose so much. They just won't realise it until 18-24 months later (my personal verdict on the latest laptops is still not in, my daughter is the guinea pig on that one, plus must have the ability to install any OS of my choosing).

deadlockvictim
Silver badge

Re: Ethical behaviour

On build quality, I still have a Macintosh Performa 475 from 1994 around that I like to play Prince of Persia and Civilization on every now and then. It needed a new PRAM battery and all was well. Not bad for a 24 year old machine.

Sgt_Oddball
Silver badge

Re: Ethical behaviour

My 9 year old lenovo begs to differ...

casinowilhelm

Re: Ethical behaviour

I have a 14 year old dell laptop that has been dropped several times and yet still works. It's too slow to actually do anything useful but that's beside the point being made here. It was built like a tank.

AndrueC
Silver badge
Boffin

Much as I'm always the first to moan at the prospect of using anything Apple it's at least partly in jest and merely because they tend to do things differently. It actually harks back to my data recovery days when HFS was a pain in the bum to deal with for the MSDOS/Windows based utilities I was writing and working with. For those who don't know HFS supported the concept of 'forks' which meant that an individual file contained two or three separate streams within it. This is something that the prevalent file system at the time (FATx) just couldn't cope with. Worse still the additional streams mattered so couldn't just be ignored.

In the early days all we could do is perform data recoveries on a solitary Mac in a dark corner of the office. Unsurprisingly with no designated operator the machine was inevitably full of old crap and/or in need of maintenance when you sat down in front of it. All you wanted to do was recover some data and you had to waste an hour or two cleaning the damn' thing up. Hindered by lack of familiarity.

Thankfully NTFS came along which allowed Windows applications to create as many forks (called alternate data streams) as you want. Even better the Windows networking stack provided a way to create specially named streams such that a Macintosh client could recognise them as forks. So I extended our Windows tools to output HFS/HFS+ sourced files in this format and now we only needed the Mac to burn CDs. Even better a year later we bought a utility that could mount Mac volumes under Windows so we never needed to use that ageing Mac again.

But to be fair Apple documentation for HFS and HFS+ was excellent. Not only thorough documentation of the structures but even worked examples of how you'd access them. And their hardware is good quality. I have two old iPods and both still work.

But..the iPods mean I have to use iTunes. Plus recently I've started doing mobile development and I occasionally have to sort my Mac mini out which means remembering how to operate the damn thing. Oh and it doesn't support desktop scaling so I have to run it at a lower resolution in order to expand things so that my old eyes can read them. On the plus side debugging an iOS app is more reliable and more feature rich than debugging an Android app.

So..yeah, it's good quality kit. The problem for me is simply that Apple's ecosystem follows different rules to what I'm used to and that means my occasional need to foray into their walled garden is irritating :)

katrinab
Silver badge

Macs do support desktop scaling, but it involves editing configuration files in a text editor, or press the option key in Display Settings to see the hidden settings.

This post has been deleted by its author

Semtex451
Silver badge
Thumb Up

@Andrew O

Thank you for writing that, no one ever listens to little old me.

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