iPhone 14: An Acceptance of Mediocrity

Patrick Dima, Scribe Reporter

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With the introduction of Apple’s new wave of technology, a now seemingly yearly event, the company announced the “groundbreaking” iPhone 14, which reportedly features a better camera, battery life, and an additional inch of touchscreen above the camera. But, haven’t we heard something like this before?

Among the new versions of Apple devices, the iPhone 14 brings just as much change to the smartphone as did the 13 (“Our longest battery life ever”), this time removing yet another slot on the phone, the always intrusive SIM card tray. More useful features added to the operating system give Apple consumers yet another reason to stay attached to the screen. The question I can’t quite reconcile however, is just how much good comes from these new devices?

Apple’s launch of the first iPhone in 2007 shocked and revolutionized the world, changing wireless smartphones forever by compacting nearly all of the daily needs (a calendar, alarm, notes, etc) into a single screen. Now, nearly all of life is encapsulated within the newest iPhones: streaming platforms, social media, health tracking applications, video games, the list goes on.

“Fifteen years ago, we used the wireless phone to make a call. Today, we use it for everything else. It’s the remote control for our lives,” wireless analyst Jeff Kagan said.

Even while writing this article, I have checked the time, contacted a number of my friends, read the news, and even spent minutes on media such as TikTok, solely through the screen of my iPhone 13. 

iPhones and other devices allow us to connect to anyone around the world, at any moment, yet the task of actually going outside to meet them grows more difficult to engage as we end up more connected to the block of heat in our hands. 

For students like myself, simply being told to “put away the phone” by parents or the school district simply does not cut it, many of us still manage to pick up our devices after ten minutes and resume spending time on them, essential time that alternatively could have been spent with family, friends, work, or just about anything else. 

But this is not news to anybody, really, and Apple knows it. In addition to the screen time feature on the iPhones, Apple’s focus on “wearables,” technology such as airPods or Apple watches, is a hopeful attempt at getting their consumers to engage in activities outside of their handheld devices. For them, it may just be another outlet for money to fall into their pockets. 

The iPhone and Apple’s surrounding technology formed the basis for our lives, permanently. With a company this significant, one would believe that they would utilize their extraordinary power to revolutionize the world once more by developing devices that would further improve our quality of life. 

Instead, Apple continues producing the same phone, increasing two minutes of battery life every year and removing slots or accessories to then sell them separately on top of an already inflated price. The first iPhone changed everything; the new ones change practically nothing.

Though big-tech companies may be at fault for the unnecessary and rather acquisitive continuation of smartphone production, we as consumers have yet to display any real resentment. The population complains of the disastrous effects of phones on society, yet demand no real alternative or change from these companies. Similar to gas-powered cars, there exists no real ‘push’ by the public to act upon the substantial production of these products.

The iPhone 14 and its associating new devices hit the stores this September, and the extent to which the technology will affect the world is yet to be determined. With no real initiative to demand a truly revolutionary and beneficial product from Apple, the public will likely meet an ‘improved’ wave of promises yet again next year. When will enough be enough?

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