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Summary:

I was hoping to make it to the office by 8 this morning but traffic was a bit heavy. I’m sitting in Starbucks near the Plymouth Meeting mall today; a new ‘bucks for me. Both the WiFi and the java are flowing freely as I keep […]

Coffee_man_4I was hoping to make it to the office by 8 this morning but traffic was a bit heavy. I’m sitting in Starbucks near the Plymouth Meeting mall today; a new ‘bucks for me. Both the WiFi and the java are flowing freely as I keep getting stopped by people asking what this device is. Of course, since this is my mobile office setting, I have the Samsung Q1P and Bluetooth keyboard. I have a set stock of lines that introduce folks to Samantha, the Q1P, and I just realized that I always share how long I’ve been using this class of device. People ask "what’s that amazing new device you have there?" and of course, it’s not that "new" to me. This is about the 15th month I’ve been using this "new" device. ;)

That length of time hit me all of a sudden today and got me thinking about the life-expectancy of mobile devices. Not how long before it breaks, but how long will it still meet your needs before you upgrade or trade? Are you on the "Matt Miller" plan, i.e.: if you get three weeks from a device, it’s all good? :) If you get six months or a year, is that acceptable? Are you still toting a Handspring Visor? Let me know in the comments…I shoot for a year in most cases, but of course, it depends on the device as well…

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  1. Lately it is the Matt Miller plan…

    or is it the “Goldilocks and The Three Bears” Plan…

    always looking for the one that will finally be “just right”.

    If we’re not careful there will be a new mental health diagnostic category for such behavior….

  2. My laptops last about a year and a half (up to my third one now), though my consumption of pda’s are Miller-esque, though I still try to use them all in some capacity. Fortunately for me, I tend to stick to the free phone that I get with my plan, and update only when my plan is due – I’ve contemplated getting a nice phone/smartphone, but I tend to trash my cell phones, so I’d rather not.

  3. I try for a year and I just made it with the Q1 so I’m in overtime. Sometimes I only go about 6 months – particularly with Mac Notebooks – if I find another family member “needs” a “new” computer I pass my “existing” device to them and get the NEW computer for ME. Mwaa Haa Haa!

  4. I currently find that a mobile device should last around 2-3 years. I had a dell Axim for around 3 years before upgrading to a HTC phone (M500 from Orange). That only lasted a year though as i found the device a pain to use. recently got given a HTC PU10 and as I mainly type on it i’ve found the miniture keyboard a fantastic asset for quick notes/texts/emails and hope it will last around 2-3 years.

    I’m planning on replacing my laptop with a UMPC when they sort the battery life issue but i’ve had it for about 1 year now and i feel a little cheated because it hasn’t lasted the 2-3 years i planned.

    So to summerise, i can happily spend my hard earned cash on a new device every 2-3 years. :)

  5. You got me thinking. If it’s okay, I’d like to point your readers to a longer response on my fledgling blog…http://urltea.com/17tt

  6. taxman wrote– “if I find another family member “needs” a “new” computer I pass my “existing” device to them and get the NEW computer for ME.”

    Lets hear it for hand-me-downs… when you are the one doing the handing.

  7. For UMPC’s, it can go either way. Because the speed of the devices hasn’t changed much, proven to run Vista ok, and I’m grown used to this performance, UMPC’s can last years until it dies. Sadly, the processors aren’t getting any faster lately.
    But then again, they are so cheap, you can go through them every 6 months/year.
    With laptops, I expect a significant gain in speed, so I’d say around 2 years.
    For desktops, if you pimped it out, should last 3-4 years unless you’re a serious gamer.
    So I’m due for a new UMPC soon. My year anniversary with the Q1 is this month. Think I bought it a week before I made this post.
    http://phonyholmes.com/?p=99
    Hopefully I’ll get a new work laptop since the 2 year mark is coming up and convince them to get me a Tablet PC instead. :)

  8. Jose R. Ortiz Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Depends really. I am sure most of the devices I’ve had over the years could have met my needs longer than the time that I actually used them, but it’s hard to stick with one device for more the 8-12 months simply because of all the new gadgets that come out. The longest I’ve kept a device in regular use has been my VAIO desktop which I’ve had for almost 2.5 years and that’s only because I crammed it with the latest at the time. I’ve upgraded the RAM and hard drive space over the years but that’s it. I’ve had a Motion LE1600 for under a year and am already looking to upgrade to either a Stylistic 5112 or TK i440D. And I’ve had my HTC Excalibur for 5 months and am almost positive I will replace it with the Kaiser when it comes out. Too much good stuff out there…

  9. You know, it’s funny that you brought this up, Kevin. I was just thinking about how committed you are (and have been for quite some time) to the Q1 line. Seriously, I had a moment this weekend when I pondered….”if only I could use any of my gadgets as long and effectively as Kevin has used the Q1.” I started wondering if maybe it was a character trait — you find something great and stick with it. Or, if maybe it’s all about your usage needs and the Q1 actually being a perfect fit for you. If that’s the case, I’m extremely jealous!

    My gadget shelf-life is similar to Mat Millers; like Dan, I’ve got the Goldilocks complex. Yesterday is a good case in point. I was leaving the house for a quick trip and I felt like I needed to have a PC with me but nothing seemed right. The x61 was too big, my Q1 was too small (screen-wise) and actually too heavy (with the case, battery, etc). So, I sighed and just resigned myself to relying solely on my Cingular 8525 (btw, I have had all of the above for under 6 months). :)

    Thanks for raising this interesting question. The responses are fascinating!

  10. More should be done in the OS to make it easier to move apps/data to a new device. It’s often weeks before a device is as usable as the last one (PCs as well as mobile devices).

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