The Gadget Change in Our Lives
I use an ordinary Nokia phone that was bought for under Rs 6,000 about four years ago. It allows me to make a phone call, check email through a push mail feature, and has a QWERTY keypad that allows easy texting. It runs on the dated Symbian operating system, so I cannot access or make use of the much-talked-about Android or iOS apps.
So, what am I missing out on? Not much, I think, but then I am almost always surrounded by people who have changed their phone about five to six times in the last four years. Every time they have told me about one or the other unique feature of the phone that made them think that their old phone had become outdated.
No, I am not writing against smartphones here. In fact, I am soon going to buy one myself as I need instant Internet access and also need a safety app more than anything else. Here I am only asking this: does your gadget become dated when the company launches a supposedly newer or better version of it? Every now and then, one or the other electronics company, especially Samsung, Apple and Sony, conceptualizes a launch function of their new series of some gadget in a manner that it sounds like yet another leap for mankind. Those global launch events share prominent space in print with the day’s lead political news as well as hog peak hours on national television.
I think the idea behind those marketing campaigns is to influence individuals into believing that they are missing out on something very important if they do not own one of those gadgets. Some targeted campaigns are so powerful that they make some of us believe that those gadgets add to our status. And if we see another individual without one of those gadgets, some of us may think along these lines: a) s/he is too poor to be able to afford it, or b) s/he is a stereotype who does not believe in technology, or c) s/ he has no fashion sense.
This is how the technology giants of the world have positioned themselves in the minds of millions. Dozens of people I know who own these gadgets have hardly used more than 10 per cent of their features. But they make it a point to tell everyone about a gadget change in their lives through Facebook updates and tweets made via the gadget itself.
Now that my life too will go through a gadget change, I ended up researching about a dozen handset makers and was astonished to find that everything that was being offered at Rs 40,000–Rs 50,000 by mainstream brands was made available at half the price by the not-so-big but promising brands from China – Gionee being one of them. If you Google a bit, you will know why some of the world’s renowned gadget reviewers vouch for these young brands. They do not have much marketing prowess, but possess immense understanding of technology and fantastic design sense. And they do not keep upgrading to make you feel as if your earlier gadget’s time is gone.