Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Technology Needs to Slow Down

Because you're dying to check Facebook from your TV, right?
I'm a geek.  I love electronics and I can read articles and listen to podcasts on them for hours at a time.  However, sometimes, enough is enough.  These electronic companies like Samsung, LG, etc. are going to run themselves out of business for being so greedy.  Everyone wants to create the next great thing every other month.  It's like crack.

Standard definition television was good enough for over 50 years until high definition came along.  Once HD arrived, the televisions flew off of the shelves.  This made the greedy electronic companies very excited!  Instead of perfecting the HDTV to get through the next 50 years of television, they decided to release a 3D television just a few years later.  Then SmartTVs became the rage.  Although I'm not sure how smart it was to create a TV that can do the exact same thing as my Xbox 360, Blu Ray player, Roku and home theater receiver does.  Sounds dumb to me.  Redundant much?  Do I really need four or five devices that give me Hulu Plus and Netflix access?  Can't TV's just be TV's?

A few months from now, Ultra HDTVs will be the next big thing.  Because HD-3D television isn't enough.  I'm guessing we're not too far from actors coming to our houses to perform the shows we like to watch.  After all, it doesn't get much realer than that.

Cell phones are the same way, if not worse.  Samsung currently has 44 different types of cell phones on display at their website.  44!  And those are just the smartphones, not including the flip phones.  Why would anyone need 44 different types of phones to sell?  Oh, I know why!  Because every month, they have to try to come out with the next iPhone killer.  Instead of worrying about competition for Siri, why not do like Motorola and focus on improving battery life?

Click to enlarge and read the comparisons.

Apple is the same with their iPad.  Every year, there's a new iPad and it's basically the same as the last.  The only difference is a little more memory here, a different color there and an extra feature.  That will be $450, thank you very much.  You know that new iPads compare about the same to old iPads because they're roughly the same price.  If anything major was different about them, then it would seem that the price margin would have more of a gap.  To Apple's credit, they've sold more of the almost exact same product than any company that comes to mind.  Their marketing department is legendary!  How many people reading this just looked up and saw their iPhone, iPod and iPad mini charging next to one another?

I wish these companies would just slow down already!  People are catching on to the fact that every new item you put out is basically the last version with one or two more add-ons.  Try looking at successful models like the Xbox and follow their lead.  It released its first model and 2001 and didn't come out with the Xbox 360 until a presidential term later.  Now, they're rumored to come out with the Xbox 720 (prototype name) at the end of this year, eight years after the 360.  Not only have they taken their time to perfect their product, they've also allowed time for their previous product to actually sell!  Imagine that!

It sucks as a consumer because something you buy today is rendered irrelevant in less than two years.  I bought a Blu Ray player from Samsung three years ago.  It would receive updates to the firmware roughly every other month.  Well, the updates stopped after a little over a year because the model had been discontinued. A new model was out, so they stopped supporting the model that I expected to have for the next five years.

Needless to say, I'll never buy another Blu Ray player from Samsung again.  Not just because they kicked my player to the curb in such a short time, but also because they rejected my (honest) review of their product from their website.  That's right.  Samsung picks and choose which product reviews they'll allow.  I'm guessing the fact that I said the device "requires me to enter time/date during setup yet was too rushed for them to even have a clock display on it" was offensive to them.

People don't need a new HDTV every two or thee years.  And with two year agreements being the norm with cell phone crooks companies, people don't need a new phone every six months.  You companies will have to learn the hard way when you have all of this merchandise sitting in your warehouses with nowhere to go.  Best Buys are already shutting down across the country because they can't live on holiday sales alone.

Now, I'm far from an expert, but I'm just playing a hunch here.  I think companies will start to fold/downsize within a year or two due to lost revenue.  There are just some instances where technology needs to slow down.  We've figured out how you operate.  Take your time and give us a product worthy of the astronomical prices that you're charging.

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