There was a time when keeping up with technology meant constantly upgrading devices. Software used to be made available for certain generations and the turnover time of a family device was certainly shorter than it is today. The exact opposite is what is happening now and it is killing the sales of device providers.
Applications now have their own upgrades and are normally available to any device that had the original in the first place. People are now holding onto their devices much longer because there is no definitive need to change gadgets. It is because of this trend that high-margin hardware companies, such as Apple, are now suffering, Business Insider notes.
Instead, it is gadgets like Chromecast and Echo, provided by Google and Amazon respectively, that are reaping the most benefits from the trend. The publication claims that over 23 million Chromecast devices have been sold since 2013 at a low price of $35. Much lower than an iPhone's $700 dollar price.
Chromecast and Echo are not like computers or smartphones, as neither has its own interface. In fact, it is merely a device that takes the user to whatever application they want to use such as YouTube and Spotify. Other than that, it serves no purpose. Nevertheless, it has become increasingly important because of its life-span and because it continuously gives what the user is expecting from it.
The importance lies in the applications and for as long as Chromecast has access to these, it will be relevant. Echo is just the same - developers have released almost 1,000 "skills" for its platform and the services include booking Uber rides and ordering pizza.
Unlike the iPhone, which needs to be upgraded after every 2 or so generations, the Chromecast and Echo have much more minor modifications between each release. Again, this is because the purpose is always the same. It is highly likely that this is the reason Apple has experienced their first ever dip in sales.
The same is being felt by PC producers. In fact, Computer World has reported that, as Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated, "It's easier to move your phone to a new phone than your PC to a new PC." The older operating systems found within PCs are capable of running software upgrades, much like smartphones are able to comply with app updates.
Bob O'Donnell, a principal analyst at Techanalysis Research weighed in on the same, saying that the public uses PCs to listen to music, watch videos and browse the web. The catch is that older machines or gadgets can do just that, so there is no longer a need to constantly switch PCs because of this.
It is because of this that Intel has started to shift from becoming PC-centered to cloud-centered. How other electronic brands will react and survive, is still unknown.