California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    The Apple Watch – Just Another Overpriced Device

    nched for online buyers at a starting price of $349, ranging up to $17,000. This device, according to, is their “most personal device yet.”

    The launch of new products from Apple always leaves me somewhat skeptical, as it is a long-time conspiracy that their products are made to break. I’m not entirely convinced that annually dropping hundreds of dollars on new versions of Apple products is the best way to make technological investments.

    “I’ve heard that their products are made to break and I’m starting to see this more and more,” sophomore iPhone user Victoria Traudt said. “I’ve only had my phone from them for a year and the quality is evidently deteriorating.”

    People seem to think that Apple makes their products to break because when new devices come out, older versions seem to quickly decline and majorly pale in comparison.

    The actual term for this is planned obsolescence. This is defined by Wikipedia as, “a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.”

    I’ve recently experienced this problem with my slightly older generation of iPhone, the 5c. Though the phone is older, I have had only had it for about five months, so I think it is fair to expect it to work as if it were new.

    This is not the case, as it has been completely malfunctioning for the past few weeks. I called Verizon for tech support, and they told me to make sure I had the latest software update because without it the phone would continue to defect.

    Is this what consumers should expect from all Apple products, all of the time? Updates should make their phones better and devices should not be made to defect without them.

    Their products are in high demand and continuously flying off the shelves, but I’m not sure that the sale price of these unreliable items is anywhere close to the value of the products they are selling.

    The seemingly luxurious $17,000 watch from Apple is made of 18-karat gold. When the price gets this high it is no longer about the watch itself or the technology it offers. It turns into a status symbol, a show of wealth by the consumer buying it. This is evident, as an 18-karat gold $17,000 product is not among the necessities in life, and it is definitely not available to an average consumer.

    I’m not convinced that the Apple watch is going to be a true technological advancement, but more so another way to loop loyal customers into yet another overpriced device.

    “When the watch launches in stores I will definitely go check it out, but I’m not sure it’s something I’m currently planning on purchasing,” sophomore iPhone user Ali Citta said. “I know it is made to compliment the phone but I think the phone stands fine on it’s own. A $300 matching watch isn’t necessary.”

    I have talked to many iPhone users with the same technological problems I’ve been having. Older devices are not made to run their due time, as they seem to only be created for use until a newer phone debuts.

    According to the Huffington Post, “Apple designs the new operating systems, which have more features, take up more space and require more computing power, for the new iPhones. And a consequence of that is they don’t work as well on older iPhones.”

    “My phone came out two years ago and it either matches or surpasses the iPhone 6’s features. There isn’t really anything innovative about Apple’s products anymore, they are just in it to make money,” Android user Erik Martinez said.

    When I had the iPhone 4, I downloaded iOS 7 and it made my phone way slower than beforehand. I’ve heard many people complain about having the same type of issue so I do think planned obsolescence is a large part of Apple’s business strategy.

    “Quality isn’t really an issue with Android. I haven’t experienced problems with my phone and it cost me $400 off contract, while the iPhone 6 costs over $600,” Martinez said. “You’re paying for the brand, not the product.”

    As consumers we need to be careful about the products we are purchasing and the companies we are supporting. Apple gets away with planned obsolescence because people continue to buy the newest versions of every product. Today there are many companies that sell high quality technology so it is important that we consider all options before picking the biggest name brand on the shelf.


    Jennifer Birch
    Staff Writer
    Published April 29th, 2015