Let’s face it: nothing like staying home and waiting for the messenger to arrive with our brand new iPhone . That day we remove any specks of dust that settle on your screen in disgust and treat them with reverence. The extreme care still lasts a few months, but it is definitely a downward curve in which as time goes by, our care declines . Six months later that micro-stripe doesn’t matter so much to us, and what would have been a tragedy before is now a sigh of resignation.
Of course, this curve in which the time-price ratio continuously decays finds a turning point when Apple officially announces the arrival of a new model. From this point on, and in many cases, we don’t care what happens to our faithful mobile. A broken toy with all the letters, and this is a reality now demonstrated in a study .
The “update effect”
The study was carried out by Columbia Business School and shows a clear correlation between the ‘unintentional accidents’ of the iPhones called for renewal. In other words, they slip through our hands more frequently than when we first buy them. A covert sabotage that psychologically paves the way for the -almost forced- purchase of the new version. This behaviour has a name and has been called “the upgrade effect” .
The study conducted by the school’s marketing area shows that the owners of the mobiles are aware of their lack of care, but they play down the prospects of taking over the new model . This behaviour is evident in the ‘shame curve’ below: with the arrival of the iPhone 5s, the number of IMEI deactivations on the iPhone 5 soars , and then falls back to normal records when the new model is already on the market.
Clearing the Guilt
It’s true, no one really needs to renew a perfectly functioning mobile phone, and in this the iPhone is really long-lived. So why do we act this way? The study refers to the feeling of guilt : “we would feel guilty updating without a good reason, so we start leaving our iPhone on our leg or in the rain without knowing that we are doing it for a reason”, they explain in the study. In other words, we begin to provoke risky situations thinking that our behavior is normal.
The study has also taken into account the loss of mobiles , a data that triggers before the launch of the new model and then returns to normal values as if by magic. If you want to feel a little less guilty, this behaviour does not only concern the technology, but any product that receives a new version and we are infatuated with it. Do you feel identified?