iPhone 5 new feature could be an example of planned obsolescence

Regular readers will know we try to keep readers informed about all the latest developments, rumors and insights about the Apple iPhone 5, the next-generation iPhone that it’s widely believed will release in the fall. Following our story a few days ago about a new iOS device connector it seems that the iPhone 5 feature could be an example of planned obsolescence and we wonder how readers feel about that.

To recap, our report the other day focused on a new 19-pin dock connector that could replace the current 30-pin connector on Apple iOS devices and could also be magnetic, as in the current Magsafe connector used with Mac Notebooks. A smaller dock connector has been widely rumored for some time and although not yet confirmed for the iPhone 5 certainly seems increasingly likely. While this would have some benefits, such as even smaller devices possible, more room for other components and making the device more water resistant, not everybody was pleased at this news, which has caused quite a bit of controversy.

Comment boards were flooded with angry protestations that this would mean that plenty of current iPhone accessories. such as chargers, docks, in-car entertainment, clock radios and speakers, would become obsolete and would not be compatible with the next iPhone. Meanwhile accessory manufacturers could be either rubbing their hands in glee at the amount of new accessories users will need, or despairing about being left with stock that will soon become obsolete and having to come up with a whole new range of accessories in time for the iPhone 5 arrival.

It certainly seems likely that these changes are on the way though as in our original post on the new connector we told of a TechCrunch report saying they had independently verified that it’s on the way and that three independent manufacturers have said the connector will be changed. Now a report on IBTimes suggests that if this new connector does in fact come to the iPhone 5 then it could be that Apple is using a planned obsolescence strategy again, which certainly seems to make sense. Planned obsolescence has been used in marketing for years in the electronics industry and in a nutshell means that customers are urged/duped into purchasing new products more often than strictly necessary, led by the strategy of continually upgrading devices.

IBTimes points to the yearly upgrades to iPhone and iPods as examples that Apple already engages in this practice but of course as consumers we don’t have to fall for this constant upgrading. Nevertheless there are plenty of us who simply enjoy having the latest and best designs and devices available. If the stories of the iPhone 5 having a new 19-pin connector are accurate then there’s a kind of double-whammy of planned obsolescence as not only will people be enticed to upgrade their current iPhones but they will be forced into changing their accessories as well. We should point out that it’s not only Apple that uses planned obsolescence but most other large electronics manufacturers have at one time or another sold products with built-in obsolescence.

It’s also noted that Apple was unlikely to be changing to smaller connectors unless there was an exceedingly good reason for it and it could be that the purported new connector could not only improve the device in the ways we mentioned earlier but it could also be cheaper as well as faster. We don’t know many details of the planned connector yet but if it were like the Apple Thunderbolt it could mean increased speeds. Whatever the ultimate results of of a redesigned connector it’s more than likely there’s a very credible reason why Apple is making the change and of course that could mean the next iPhone is a massive improvement with maybe the radical new design that everybody is hoping for.

We’re really interested to hear your stance on this. Are you hopping mad that upgrading to the iPhone 5 could make all your accessories defunct? What do you think of the planned obsolescence strategy? Maybe you’re willing to ignore the inconvenience of obsolete accessories if Apple makes it worthwhile and come up with an amazing iPhone 5? Let us have your comments on this.


58 thoughts on “iPhone 5 new feature could be an example of planned obsolescence”

      1. Omeallynile says:

        An adaptor is all well and good but for docking devices it won’t work properly – the dock balances the product, you may as well just get familiar with an Aux Cable for your soundocks.

      2. Mmanz001 says:

        The dock connection has noting to do with sound quality. Its your actual speakers and music files…you may just have crappy speakers

      1. iPhoneKiller180 says:

        And yet you are planing on buying a phone that MILLIONS own WORLD WIDE. Just a fair warning, im a profesional zombie killer…dont let me find you using your iPhone. One of you will be smashed to pieces.

      1. Mmanz001 says:

        Why are you so dumb? All devices have some level of spell check, you just werent smart enough to know how the droid spell check works lol. I guess that just goes to show you exactly the kind of people buying iPhones…stupid ignorant people oblivious to the obvious infront of them. Im NOT sorry for you.

  1. Az says:

    I could care less if they change dock connector. I’m going to buy the new iphone regardless. Anyhow im sure someone will come up with an adapter for older accessories to fit the new phone.

    1. TeckCub says:

      I agree completely. Within a week of the devices launch, there will no doubt be a million adaptors available on eBay. Cheap, yes, but functional all the same. My old iPhone 4 has been good to me, but it’s about time for an upgrade. 

    2. iPhoneKiller180 says:

      If you dont mind me asking, why are iPhones so special? To this day they restroct your memory and capabilities. I remember they were the coolest things out there, but that hype left me years ago. I guess over time better tech was put into phone to allow some versatility in functionality. If Droid Does, what can iPhones do?

  2. Casper says:

    I am getting tired of waiting and all of the rumors.  Couldn’t Apple just tell us all what to look forward to and when it will be released?  Every day that goes by without some news from Apple is a step closer to Galaxy III

    1. Sehra_2002 says:

      apple hold we to ranson and were weak to follow them.. S2 still better than the 4s..

      plus how can we compare the s3 to the new iphone if it will be released 5months after??

      apple are wasted.

        1. Niceboyandy says:

          Erm, he/she could be foreign and if he/she is, I bet there doing a better job of writing in our language than you could do writing in there native text. Think about that the next time you try to take the piss out of someone who my have a learning difficulty…….. typical apple consumer, think your better than everyone ells.

      1. Niceboyandy says:

        Funny you should mention that, the iphone 4S was released about 5 or 6 months after the Galaxy S2 and the S2 was still a better device!

  3. Hardy says:

    Very annoyed about the proposed dock connector change. Don’t rip off your customer base. I know that other manufacturers have standardised over the years but this will be real pain especially for households with 2 or 3 devices. Quality and the latest tech is all good but when there is a big money making agenda going on it will p**s people off and they may look at alternatives over time.

    1. Matthew Griffin1991 says:

      Apple is not trying to rip its customers off by any means… The heart and soul of the company is innovation. Apple is not driven by facts and figures it’s motivation is people, these people genuinely want to change the world. I say good luck to them

    2. Titus says:

      Apple is working on a connector that lets all users of new iphone use the old accessories.

      For all those out there confused if the wait for new iphone is worth it, it is.

  4. Topdog85 says:

    whether is a iphone or samsung.. i only want to make sure my family are safe by text or call..

    there only for ppl who have no friends..

    rather spend my money on food or home..

    1. Gerbells2000 says:

       Yet here you are reading and looking up on the newest iphone and even finding the time to comment on one, something tells me you can’t afford an iPhone, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t post silly statements like “iphones are for people who have no friends”

      1. Browsering says:

        Message: There is more to life than a iPhone.

        For you to say someone cant afford one is out order. There is
        children starving around the world. Comments like yours are not needed.

        PS I’m browsing

      2. Mmanz001 says:

        Its called educating yourself on the product ypu are interested in so that you as a consumer can make an educated decision. Dont be a butthole just cuz someone is indifferent. You should have done some research before buying the iPhone, you may have found something better and cheaper…unless you really want that apple logo, in which case ill give you one of my stickers to put on your phone. Personally i want apple to completely change their game, their approach while unique will eventually be their downfall.

  5. Youdontevenknowmyname88 says:

    Watch the built in ipod dock in my car suddenly stop working! Time for a new car? Nope, bought this one 6 months ago, thanks Apple! (you better have a good game plan for this contingency, an adapter harkens back to the days of the first iphone I had where the earphone plug was recessed and had to have an adapter to plug in the AUX port, HOORAY!)

  6. Haztheman92 says:

    Someone, somewhere will develop a new to old adaptor for all the old accessories, probably apple themselves. There will be a massive market for that sort of thing when they do change it, and apple are smart enough to see that.

  7. Cjfrancis8 says:

    So many people saying apple is crap etc, why are you looking at iPhone 5 news and rumours if you don’t like the products?? Think most would like an iPhone but for one reason or another can’t have one so they feel the need to criticise apple and the people with apple products. Yes it will be very annoying if they change the socket but there will be adapters.

    1. Mmanz001 says:

      1. No one here feels like we settled, because i compared your precious iPhone to the RAZR MAXX when i was biying a phone to start my own contract. For the same price as your 16GB model, i got n HD camera, 4G LTE service, SD Card slot, HDMI port, Swype keyboard, and much more. So yes, i am criticising because i made the better decision…I’m allowed to do that
      2. No adapters will be supplied/made, apple wants your money and $10 for an adapter is a no no in my book. Why does one even need adapters? You should just be able to plug-n-play like droids. They just do stuff easily.
      3. Apple is not crap, just crappy. iPods are nice but beyond that they just go down hill. I know this because im a tech geek and i research this stuff on a constant basis.and truth be told apple has been trying to keep up with the dozens of Droids coming out by multiple manufacturers. If you dont believe me try looking up which phone had an HD camera first, 4G service came to droids first so keep that in mind.

  8. Nins6 says:

    My contract ends soon and am looking to upgrade. Might hold out for this new model? My kids have the I Pods and docks etc but i’m sure they will make adaptors!!

    1. Mmanz001 says:

      They wont…its not cost effective for apple. Remember this is a ploy for them to get more money out of you via iPhone sales and iPhone accessories. While adapters are really cheap, when did you EVER walk into the apple store expecting to:
      1. Find an adapter of any kind
      2. Spend less than $30…i think thats their cheapest item?
      3. Buy something that WON’T spoil your kids

      If they really are kids, all they need is an iPod. Anything beyond that is absurd

  9. Neverasheep says:

    Apple are over priced under achieving products, I’ve never worried about adapters ect I have a phone that has a built in FM transmitter and never had to worry about special software and unique cables to put music and films on my phone, I do however have a special HDMI cable so I can watch them on my TV, oh but I have the phone by the company who writes most of the software for apple phones………. A NOKIA. It’s easy really, look and see what’s out there, forget brand loyalty( marketing ) stop worrying about about how many pins, and judge your equipment by it’s merits not by following the flock. I have a real problem with ad campaigns that leave out what it can’t do, oh yeah and needing a wifi connection for video calls, 3 network in the UK did that over the network nearly 10 years ago,  so how many years before Apple catch on to that idea?. 
         I think all the victims of Apples advertising should get some professional help. But not from a phone salesman they get a better percentage for selling certain brands. 

    1. Mmanz001 says:

      iPhone owners = social zombies.
      I point out how flawed their piece of tech is (while i stream 4G service) and their closing statement is always the same: “thats ok, i still love my iPhone”
      Ha! Guess you dont have a choice but to blend in…i remember when iPhones were cool?

  10. sfbnm says:

    I don’t know how you people can say things like ”
    I’m going to buy the new iphone regardless.” what if it turns out to be a iphone 4s2 or a phone with the same little screen the same knock off dual core processor just better Siri, what if it was a turd with an apple logo on it would you still but it? 
    I work with mobiles day in day out, I’ve used b/berry, apple, android, wp7, meego etc. Apple people are a funny breed I remember before the 4s came out everyone wanted the 5, when it didn’t come out I contacted some of my customers to inform them of the new apple handset and most of them responded with thing like “why would I want the same looking phone how will anyone know I’ve upgraded”. 

    1. Mmanz001 says:

      Hello friend, im a tech geek. I reasearch droid and apple devices in my free time because as you said, people with iPhones have a strange mentality. And just to kinda piggy back of you, all iPhones look the same and there is no individuality when purchasing one. I for one dont understand how people pay $200 for 16GB models without the potential to expand memory space or use an HDMI cable to display videos on an HDTV. Oh thats right, you can do that with iPhones, after you spend over another $100 on cables and docks specific to your phone. Which is why I’ve always been a fan of Droids. Droids were made to adapt to anyones taste and any situation. My computer is dead, so i watch netflix and other shows right from my droid phone or tablet completely free because i already have the necessary cables.

      I guess the big picture is that apple is DOUBLE screwing their small slice of faithful customers. Since iPods, we had to get docks and cables for just about anything. Now you will have to get new EVERYTHING.

  11. Winifredannbarham says:

    I wanted the iPhone 5 but now I don’t know I like my asssorys for iPhone 4 not prepared to give them away rather stay with this phone for a while now

  12. Lisa Tealman says:

    I’ve been reading this website hoping to hear that the Iphone 5 will be out soon.  But I don’t think I want to wait around until the fall so am seriously considering the Samsung Gallaxy 3…  Maybe I will get the Iphone 6 or 7 a few years down the road…

  13. Just247 says:

    It’s called evolution, Everything has to evolve at some stage in its life. I don’t understand these people trying to fource there opinions on to others about the s3 people have there preferences you cannot make them change there minds but if you were more evolved your selves you may understand. Adaptors will be released and everybody will make do until they buy new hardware lets be honest if it’s the difference between spending £500 for a new dock or £5 for the adaptor what will 99.9% of the public do? maybe you should buy the s3 in protest and then all of your hardware will be defunct I’m sure that will prove your point and then you can return to you cold dark loney life thinking you alone have toppled the might of apple and the 110 million iPhones

    1. Mmanz001 says:

      While i believe your very correct, you need to understand that apple is going to MILK this cash cow for as long as possible…if no one buys accessories then they will probably give out those adapters like crazy. But it’s just not cost effective for apple to do that

  14. gary kaPLOW! says:

    bluetooth for everything. i agree that everything old will be garbage, but things have to change at some point. jambox got it right with bluetooth.

    1. Mmanz001 says:

      hen how will you listen to music and talk on the phone and drive all at the same time? Bluetooth cannot handle that much communication all at once. You seriously would need 2 seperate devices for each function.

  15. Mmanz001 says:

    Sorry, there is no such thing as an amazing iPhone 5. It took apple 5 years to finally put a bigger screen on their phones, and in that time i have yet to see any expandable/upgradable memory capabilities as well as peripherals (Micro HDMI port)in any model. But now they want to change something that is NOT flawed to put everyont in America at an inconvenience even if they supply a 30 pin-to-19 pin adapter, that wont fix all those cars with iPod compatibility. Many companies that make these accessories will end up losing more money because of this one minor change affecting everyone who touches an iPhone.

  16. Note: This is a long comment coming from a PC guy (that fell in love with a phone) but well worth the read IMO)

    I’m not a fan of apple computers as I do not particularly car for their
    operating system, and windows has always been my personal favorite and continues to be for reasons I won’t get into here.
    Since I didn’t like using apple’s operating system I naturally resisted trying
    their iphone when it first came out, but when the 3G came out I finally took the plunge. I’ve since
    upgraded to 3GS then iphone4 and now iphone4s, just a few days ago (refurb
    discount) and I’ve come to a point where just about everything I wanted in one
    device has been completely satisfied, and I am no longer left wanting, needing
    or using any other portable electronic device I own (except for notebook pc’s when only a computer will do ). I
    did give Android a try (motorola atrix) and initially liked the windows-like feel. The
    customization & system options experience of the operating system was more non-linear, but
    alas, the hardware and software of the device left a lot to be desired, and even
    grew increasingly buggy after installing a bunch of apps, customization widgets
    and then uninstalling them when the phone got buggy. Eventually, the phone got
    to the point where it became unusable as the battery would drain before the end
    of the day in standby mode- even though the battery was properly conditioned! I
    can tell that apps run much better in the iOS environment and work seamlessly
    with the iphone’s hardware.

    The overall selection, quality and variety of apps in every category of the app store are much better and generally cost less much less than the Android equivalent (in the unlikely event that an equivalent is even available!)- not to mention the android marketplace is seriously plagued with an unfiltered abundance of trashy, spam-like apps that, combined with useful apps, make up the majority of the apps that clutter the stinky mess that we know as android’s app store.      There
    seems to be better quality control filters in place that reward users with apps that help to transform the phone into a serious of wonderful and memorable experiences. Because of this, evelopers seems to be putting more time and effort into creating
    apps for the iOS environment.  I am also extremely happy with the picture
    quality of the iphone (esp. iphone4 & 4s) and the countless apps that I could spend a lifetime
    using and reviewing (time permitted) for just the camera function alone! The
    camera on the atrix (similar to iphone4’s mega pixel count) could
    not hold a candle to the iphone’s photo quality, not the mention the lack of
    quality photo apps, leaving much to be desired. Thanks to the numerous and recent
    audio apps I’ve purchased for the iphone, I’ve now found myself finally able to
    replace my dedicated mp3 player (as the stock music player for iphone was seriously
    lean and flat sounding to satisfy my craving for both deep, earth-shacking bass, silky-smooth mids & heavenly-divine highs!).

    The sheer and vast quantity of incredible apps that I own and use are hundreds
    of times more important to me than the device itself- the hardware providing
    just enough seamless tasks in the background to allow me to enjoy those apps to the fullest
    degree. I’d buy this phone 100 times over just for the app experience and use alone. In my
    opinion, the apps alone make the iphone the greatest electronic purchase I’ve
    ever made. It also has the highest degree of usability and replay value than
    all of my other electronic devices, consoles and gadgets I’ve ever owned, and now I find myself
    going to my iphone for almost everything that I can think of! It satiates
    so  many of my various interests that I am left mentally exhausted just thinking
    of how many way I could use this device. There are so many fun, artistic,
    creative, expansive, educational, life changing & comparative things you
    can do on just one device that I could ever think I would even want to be doing
    on a mobile phone! It just blows my mind.

    When you buy an iPhone you’re buying
    an endless experience that you can ride over and over again and I’ve blown more
    money playing coin operated arcade games than all the apps I’ve bought
    combined! I no there is room for improvement but it’s hard to complain when
    you’re getting so much good use out the device as a whole that you just about
    do damn near everything with and so reliably! Android phones may have more
    holes you can plug into, but how much time do you actually spend using the those
    extra ports and do they make up for the fundamentally flawed android app market
    and the buggy hardware they run on? 

  17. LTSmith says:

    So, basically, everybody is going to buy a slightly better product than the one that they already have, for a slightly higher price, slightly sooner than necesary. I’m sorry, but the iphone it’s just planned obsolescence, with the new dock connector or without it. I guess after the trial about the ipod batteries in 2001, or 2002, they just realized that they don’t need those tricks to convice peoplo into buying a new device. Could you imagine sony releasing a new playstation every twenty months with just a little improvement over the old one? That’s exactly what apple does with iphones

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