Why aging gracefully might be bad for gadgets


I’ve had my trusty BlackBerry for almost five years, and it’s starting to show its age. Here are two examples:

– No matter how slowly you roll the trackwheel, it usually moves two positions instead of one.
– Sometimes when I receive a call, the microphone doesn’t work.

But aside from these little quirks, it continues to work great, and the screen and body don’t really show much wear. This makes me wonder: might it be easier to justify replacing a gadget when it looks like hell? Is superior durability of the superficial components actually a hindrance to getting customers to upgrade regularly?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, since in my case, what I really want is an iPhone that’s not stuck on AT&T’s mediocre network. Until something like that comes along, I’m hoping that my BlackBerry keeps up its imperfect yet predictable routine.