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Hype – Disappointment – Backlash: the cycle of Android device releases

Every time a new Android device gets rumored the Android world goes into overdrive, attaching magical fantasy specs and performance to a device that probably doesn't even work yet in the R&D department of the manufacturer concerned. Half the prototypes shown at events are held together with chewing gum and high hopes, even the Moto 360 at Google I/O, and yet whenever we finally see these devices we anticipate for so long, we inevitably start attacking the manufacturers and claiming everything is crap. Why is it like this?

Oppo Find 7 teaser video
When a device is unconfirmed, unannounced and in progress, we grant it magical powers. © Oppo

The hype machine

We're tech nerds. We have to admit that much. We like our specs tables, benchmarks and hardware reviews but many of us are pretty far removed from the realities of supply chains, component agreements and material sourcing. Not to mention certification, international distribution and so many contracts with carriers, the number of people involved in product creation is mind-boggling.

nexus5 camila
We all eye new devices hyper-critically, without a care for what goes into them. © ANDROIDPIT

It seems that we expect a phone to be delivered on a certain date – for whatever reason we've decided it should appear – and we really don't care if the OEM has delayed its launch because a factory burned down somewhere, a tornado decimated a town where the parts are assembled, or even if the launch was delayed until everything could be put together in a way that would actually be satisfactory to consumers. No, we want it all, and we want it now. And it better be perfect.


When a new device appears with internals that fall beneath the frequently unreasonable expectations the rumor-mongers had placed upon them, the instant response is dissatisfaction and disappointment. We always hear people complaining that they'll wait for the next release. Like that next device will meet their expectations either. Even when the device stands up well after the disappointment, we're still not happy. Remember the disappointment when the HTC One (M8) specs were leaked?

ignore no more teaser
We always seem to ask: ''Is that it?'' No matter what we end up with. © shutterstock/ Guryanov Andrey

It doesn't seem to matter to any of us that the reason that flexible screen isn't in the latest phone is because the display manufacturer can't produce mass quantities of it yet. We don't care that if the manufacturer had included that next-gen chip or metal build that the price would go up dramatically. We ignore these real-world considerations and claim the device is rubbish without a care for what is actually possible. Are we truly that spoiled?


If a device does make it to market and it happens to have any glitches, issues or failings – either real or perceived – then the tech world goes into the third stage of reception: backlash. Suddenly the teeth come out, the venom starts flying and everyone swears the company has ''lost it'' or that they will never buy another device from them again. And then they do. And continue to complain about it regardless.

aufreger der woche
Where does this crazy rage come from? © ollyy/ Shutterstock/ANDROIDPIT

When did we develop such a sense of entitlement? What makes us think we should get unavailable components in early-release devices with every possible addition imaginable and without paying a premium price? Your chip will reach the market in Q2 2015? We want it in Q3 2014. New battery technology is currently in the research phase? Why isn't in my phone right now! You're exploring new display formats? Why haven't we got them already? You've built the perfect device with everything I've ever wanted? There's no way I'm paying that much!

AndroidPIT S5 Z2 M8 Nexsu 5 camera
No matter which device it is, we always seem to expect more. And even feel entitled to it. / © ANDROIDPIT

If we want to truly know what's fair to expect from manufacturers, rather than responding like spoilt little children with too much money and time on our hands, perhaps we should all familiarize ourselves with the realities of what goes into producing the devices we love so much. Perhaps then we will have a better understanding of what is possible, when and for what price.

Only then can we formulate more realistic expectations, informed opinions and rational responses to what happens on launch day. With the Galaxy Note 4, Nexus 6, Moto X+1, Xperia Z3 and more on our doorsteps, I encourage us all to rethink our fury when these devices fail to match up to the hype and instead look to why we have such unreasonable expectations in the first place.

What is your typical response to new devices? Why do we expect so much and then get so mad when we don't get it?


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  • Mark R. Aug 27, 2014 Link to comment

    so true, I think this applies to other consumer goods as well but phones seem to get the brunt of it!

  • I think we need to buy according to preference rather than specs, we may never be truly satisfied if we play to the marketing drive.

    • This is partially where the problem lies: the marketing pushes us to expect the world and then the actual product doesn't live up to the marketing hype. Perhaps we're not the problem, it's the marketing departments!

  • sinkster
    • Admin
    Aug 25, 2014 Link to comment

    I've been there a few times... buying what was marketed as a groundbreaking device that was the ultimate in smartphone technology, only to end up with a slightly faster, slightly bigger, and higher definition version of my previous 'flagship'.

  • I read up on the G3 after i was disappointed that the Galaxy Note 3 Neo was not going to be updated to Kitkat. so many glitches on 4.3. with this LG G3 there have been 3 updates in a month since launch. I am more than satisfied with specs and software.

    • My1 Aug 26, 2014 Link to comment

      WHAT the N3Neo is NOT going to get KK? that is definitely not funny. Google should enforce that all device have to get the new android version in less than 2m since public release and that for 18 months straight (and the android release date is accounted for that)

  • Kong Ling Aug 25, 2014 Link to comment

    I totally agree with you. I wonder since when we are so spoiled. There's always something to complains about. If not spec, then it is price.

    • My1 Aug 25, 2014 Link to comment

      but well the price really is too high when the profit is like 2 times the cost of the materials and they cant set ll to dev'ing and supportespecially when you see the really bad updates, especially by Samsung.
      to be honest, the best thing about the Nexus series is the price...

  • Totally agree with you, Kris... the expectation is that the new flagship will take everyone to infinity and beyond, which is not going to happen.

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