Its common knowledge that the instant you drive your new car off of the lot, it depreciates in value by several thousand dollars. That’s just the way things are. That really shouldn’t be the case with cell phones, but it seems that these days, the second you take your new phone out of the box it is already obsolete. Android has allowed phone technology to advance to the place it is today, but it is also why the shelf life of your phone is the shortest in the history of the cellular world.
I’ll use myself as an example. I got my Samsung Vibrant back in October. It was still just a couple of months old, and was by all accounts one of the best phone available on any carrier in the US. Three months later, it is being sold for free by T-Mobile on a 2 year contract in large part because the next generation Vibrant is expected to arrive in the next couple of months, running at 4G speeds with a few upgraded specs. By the time I’m eligible for an upgrade, my Vibrant will be the technological equivalent of a paperweight.
It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when the Motorola RZR was the best selling phone for 5 straight years. To put that into perspective, 5 years ago this was the best selling smartphone on the market.
When Google decided to make Android free to manufacturers, it allowed them to focus on the guts rather than the software. Not only did it cut down on the money it cost to develop a new phone, it made the rate at which phones could be churned out advance to breakneck speeds. That’s why we’ll see dozens of new HTC phones, Motorola phones and Samsung phones hit shelves at every major and minor cell phone carrier in the country this year. And its why your brand new cell phone already sucks.