Enough with Numbers and Versions!

It is now emerging that Apple will release iPhone 12 in the coming months, much to the delight of those able to afford and of course, to the envy of those who can't or have never owned an iPhone in their lives (me included). But that's not the point. The point is, this next release will be iPhone 12. That is about 12 years since the release of the first iPhone, iPhone 1 (iPhone 2G). That is roughly an iPhone every year. Very impressive. By 2050, assuming we go by the 'an iPhone a year' trend, we should see iPhone 42. Right? 

iPhone is just one example. Other phone makers are hot on this trail. Since an emphatic re-entry into the android market, Nokia has released a whole range of flagship devices, from Nokia 1 to Nokia 9 pureview. In between, there are insane devices and versions. Number 6, for example, is taken by Nokia 6, Nokia 6.1, Nokia 6.1 plus, and Nokia 6.2. Isn't this overwhelming? This is the trend for just about any Nokia released recently. 

Now consider Android OS. The first android, android 1.0, was unveiled in 2008. 12 years since this O.S was released, we will get to android 11 soon. Going by this trend, we could be looking at android 41 or something in the 2050's. Right? 

There are other numerous examples of devices and software that prefer to name their releases numerically. Windows may be an exemption but really, they will stick to numeric names. Newer versions of windows may take delayed names like the upcoming Windows 10, version 20H2, but that will not hold, least it confuses consumers (It is rumored that something like windows Polaris is in the  making, and may break the pattern). But would we really be surprised by entry of windows 12 or something similar? No.

My point of concern is, are these numeric releases going to be hold in the long term? Imagine a consumer boasting of iPhone 72. All that, while earlier releases are presumably, still available for purchase in the market, albeit at reduced prices. So someone somewhere is using iPhone 24, and the high and mighty are flaunting the latest release. What picture would that portray? What of those who have never even had an iPhone 7, or something 'ancient' ? 

While these releases will help the companies keep track of their releases and developments over time, they will burden the consumer and insert heightened self-awareness over the devices and software they are using. It will create pressure for latest purchases just to keep in touch with latest trends. This, of course, will be good for profits, but must it always be about sales and more sales? Many years from now, I don't want to have to think hard on what phone I was using in 2020 simply because there have been several dozens of releases hurled at me. 

Companies need to come up with better naming standards to keep consumers comfortable with the gadgets they are using. Better still, they need to slow down on frequent releases and invest in bulk releases that will last several years, say five, before thinking of next releases. Furthermore, the world is already grappling with e-waste. Why not slow down? 


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