In the case of most high-profile products, the software running on the device is being constantly improved . So, there is a fair chance that its manufacturer will release a better version of the software within a few months, often adding a variety of features and functions. When the iconic iPad was launched, it was criticized for not being good at multi-tasking and for its lack of a notification bar. Within months of its release, Apple had fixed these issues. Similarly, Nokia upgraded the software for both its N8 and E7 devices, adding more customizable home screens and improving the icons.
Bugs and other fixes
One of the problems with the highly competitive nature of technology is that most devices are rushed to the market with a few niggles. These are inevitably sorted out, but after some time. A prime example of this is Nokia Lumia 800, some of whose units had battery life problems-an issue that the company has just fixed via a software update. So, a device that has been around for a while is likely to have fewer problems.
The longer a device stays in the market, the higher the number of software applications you are likely to find for it. For instance, when Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry Play-Book were launched, one of the problems was that there were not enough applications designed to run specifically on these. However, as time passes and the number of users increases, software developers start producing applications that can run on them. The result is that a slightly older (not obsolete) device will inevitably have more apps than a new one. The new iPad might be grabbing the headlines today, but it has fewer applications that can run on it compared with those that can be used in its predecessors.
It is very rare for a product to arrive in the market accompanied by a flood of accessories. Most accessory manufacturers tend to wait before making products that can work with gadgets. Once the gadget has spent some time in the market , you are more likely to get a bigger range of accessories that work with it. Early purchasers of Nokia N8 could not find an appropriate case for it because the back jutted out slightly. Today, they can choose from several cases with a variety of shades, sizes and material.
- Dell Streak: It faced withering scorn for running on an old version of Android and a price tag of Rs. 35,000 when it was launched. Today, you can get it with an updated Android version for less than Rs. 20,000.
- HTC Flyer: This was the first Android tablet to sport a stylus but was undone by a hefty price tag of Rs. 37,000. Now, you can get it for under Rs. 25,000. It’s also in line to get the latest version of Android OS.
- Motorola Xoom: Heavily criticized for its price when it was released in June 2011, it is now a much better proposition now due to a software upgrades and a big price cut.
- BlackBerry PlayBook: It took a hammering for not having its own e-mail client and a price of Rs. 27,990 when it arrived. Today, it is priced at Rs. 15,000, has its own e-mail client and runs Android app.
- Nokia N8: When it was released in October 2010, the N8 was criticised for its interface. Today, it has a 12-megapixel camera, comes with a much improved Symbian Belle OS.
- iPhone 3GS: It came with a price tag of nearly Rs. 30,000. Today, one can get it for Rs. 20,000 with the same software that runs on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
In the automobile industry, it’s a well-known fact that one can easily get spare parts for an older car than for a spanking new one. The same applies in the world of tech. One can find it relatively difficult to get a new device repaired if things go wrong simply because the service and support centers do not have enough parts to go around. However, the scenario changes dramatically within a few months, and in many cases, even third-party support providers manage to fix a fault plaguing the device. A classic case is that of HTC Hero, some of whose units suffered display problems. This took weeks to replace simply because there was a paucity at support centers, while the same problem with older models was easily rectified within a day.
Finally, and most significantly, consider the price of a device. In most cases, the price of a gadget declines over a period of time. Though the hardware remains the same, the software is likely to improve and the price may fall significantly at times within a few months of the launch of the device. Consider Nokia Lumia 800, which hit the Indian stores towards the end of 2011 at a price of almost 28,000 and is now available for 23,790. All good things come to those who wait and the adage works well in the tech world too. If you want to make the most of your money, go for a gadget after a cooling off period-it will make for a hotter buy.
Disclaimer: This is an article we came across during the course of our research and felt it warranted a share. You can read the original article on the Times of India site.