Why I’m not upgrading my devices

Yesterday, Apple released a whole bunch of lovely products including a thinner iMac, a Retina display 13″ MacBook, a new iPad and also a smaller iPad to compete with the Kindle Fire and various other small tablets on the market. The iPhone 5 was also released this year. Amazon recently released a new Kindle called the Paperwhite which has a crisper display and a backlight. These are all new versions of devices that I own or have owned.

There is a tendency to rush out and buy the latest and greatest new things because we think we need them. There is nothing wrong with any of these new devices but I’m not upgrading. I’m sticking with my iPhone 4, my MacBook Pro and my third-generation iPad. I should caveat that these items are relatively new, but even if they were a bit older there would be no need to upgrade – they work just fine.

In the last year, I have renewed some of my equipment. I sold three Macs (an iMac, an older MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air) and consolidated my home computing needs into a new MacBook Pro. I want this laptop to last at least three years. I bought the new Pro because out of the three I sold, the old Macbook Pro was the one I used the most, but it was getting old, slow and clunky. I sold my original iPad and replaced it with a new one (also partially replacing my MacBook Air) because the newer version is far more useful to me than the original one, simply because of the intelligent cover design which allows it to be used on a table. I need a small portable computer but I don’t need an Air and an iPad. I also replaced my Kindle – I bought a Touch. The reason behind this upgrade was that I needed a 3G model because I travel a lot. All my purchases have had a reason behind them and also a lot of careful thought went into the process, funded by the sale of the old devices.

The truth is that I use all of the computers I own on, at least, a weekly basis. I could reduce the number of them further by selling my laptop and just using my work equipment, but I do very different things with my own equipment so this is not really an option. I could also pick one of the Kindle or the iPad, as the iPad runs Amazon’s Kindle software so strictly I don’t need both. Given that I travel a lot, it is convenient to have both and I think I have the right number of devices to meet my needs.

I did consider upgrading to an iPhone 5 this year but did not see what it would give me in addition to what I have already. It has a few extra features which are nice to have but are not essential.

So why am I not upgrading really? I have learnt to be happy with what I have. I don’t need to upgrade for a few basic features and the things I have are working just fine. I don’t have to have these new things to satisfy some primæval hoarding urge – what I have is sufficient. If my requirements change or one of the devices breaks then I will obviously think again, but I may as well save my money and use it to buy nice experiences instead.

Featured image is the iOS Family Pile (2012) by Blake Patterson.

3 thoughts on “Why I’m not upgrading my devices

  1. So that makes it unlikely that you want to buy any of the old (non-Mac) PCs and laptops I am selling this week I guess 🙂

    I don’t pretend to be getting close to minimalism, but there is a great satisfaction in recycling any old computer and tech kit and – hopefully – finding a new owner that will use them.

    ps – I loved Joshua Fields Millburn’s & Ryan Nicodemus’s book on minimalism. There is a truth there, even if it is a continuum rather than binary decision. Yes, I really would like a paperwhite. No, it really will not make a material difference in my life.

    All the best Chris, to the new “minimalister” you!

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