First Look At The iPhone 5 Reveals A Lot About Consumers

by Khaleef "Fat Guy" Crumbley on September 22, 2012

in Commentary, Save Money, Shopping

iPhone 5

Jimmy Kimmel sent a camera crew out to give people a look at the new iPhone 5. What he didn’t tell them is what they were actually looking at was the current (at the time of the video) version, the iPhone 4s.

They were told to compare the “new” iPhone with the current iPhone:

Did you notice that there were actually people who were holding the two identical models in their hands, but still noticed “differences”?

He had people compare identical products, the only difference being that they thought it was newer, and they were able to notice the various improvements. I am not sure if they only asked current iPhone 4s owners, but I did notice quite a number of people holding their own 4s up to compare it with the “new” model.

Simply by being told that they were holding a new version, they worked very hard to find improvements; and in turn, many of them began to clearly see the flaws and shortcomings of what they owned. I am sure that when they first purchases their current models, they convinced themselves that they had the greatest devices ever, and that the high price tag was justified because of how much it could do and how long it would last.

It’s easy to look at these people and laugh at them, but we need to evaluate our own decisions in order to see how much we are affected by this same mentality.

Through sophisticated marketing, advertisers have a way of convincing us that if we don’t the latest and most expensive products, we are missing out on something great and our lives are not as meaningful or fulfilling as they can be.

It’s not just with electronics either! We do the same things with cars, houses, clothes, movies (if I see another remake, I’m going to scream!), and even games.

With a little bit of clever marketing, we are usually willing to pay a premium for something that provides little to no additional value over the less expensive version.

What hurts me is that many of us fall for this, even when we are in debt bondage! If we are really serious about paying off our debt (and I assume that most of you reading this is in debt), then we should be immune to this type of advertising! If not, then we need to develop a system for evaluating potential purchases, so we won’t become a victim to modern consumerism.

For me, I have actually had to stop looking at certain websites – those that offer extreme deals, and sites that talk about the newest gadgets and electronics – in order to stop from being tempted to waste money on an upgrade that I really don’t need.

Let Me Know What You Think:

  1. Have you had a situation where your mind causes you to perceive a difference that really isn’t there?
  2. What things do you own, for which you have a standard upgrade schedule, even if there is nothing wrong with the current version? This can be phones, computers, cars, clothing, etc.
  3. What systems or guards do you have in place to prevent yourself from developing a strong, sometimes unfounded, desire that causes a “want” to turn into a “need”?

© 2012, fatguyskinnywallet.com. All rights reserved.

Lance @ Money Life and More September 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I normally just buy an older generation or two. No sense in wasting money to be most up to date when a new one comes out less than a year later!

Fat Guy September 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

You’re so right about that! I think it’s rare that the “top of the line” item will be worth it. There is usually a premium involved that has nothing to do with performance!

Sherrian@KNSFinancial.com September 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I remember Penn & Teller (sp?) doing something similar with people claiming they could tell the difference between an organic and non-organic banana by taste – when it was the same banana.

I think we are all susceptible to these things because (1) we always want things and can always justify our behavior (2) we all think we are really smart when we just really choose the ‘logic’ that feeds our wants.

Fat Guy September 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I remember you telling about this and I was going to include that video, but some people had unanswered questions about their “study”. lol

I think it’s easy to convince ourselves that we need the best and we will find every source that agrees with our lusts!

Dominique Brown September 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I have to admit that the same thing also happens to me every time a new model of iPhone or computer comes out. When I watch their ads and see the latest feature, all of a sudden, I have this urge to upgrade my present model. I blame it on their great marketing strategy where they make the consumers WANT to buy their products. To avoid this, I try not to watch too much of their online ads so I won’t get tempted to try out their new models. With that said.. I did get the iPhone 5 and it’s a huge upgrade from the iPhone 4. The LTE is lighting fast compared to my old 3G speed. Well worth it in my case :-)

Fat Guy September 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I think this happens to most of us. That’s why I also stopped watching/reading ads and going to tech sites.

The one thing I hate about Apple is that they will release a device that doesn’t have all of the available features (even the iPhone 5 doesn’t compare with the Galaxy S3 or HTC One X); then when they finally catch up with the technology from 2 years ago, they call it an upgrade and everyone flocks to it. Their marketing over the past 10 years will probably be studied in MBA programs for decades!

Malcolm@moneymouse September 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm

It’s iPhone craze again, but i am not falling for this one. My iPhone is still working great and i won’t buying anything until it dies.

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