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iPhones are a Scam

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2018 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,699 times Debate No: 116585
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
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Buying the new iPhone every year is like paying $50/week for a magazine subscription to the exact same issue. To put that simile into perspective:
iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8: DUAL-CORE PROCESSOR, 2GB RAM

iPhones are a scam, they leave out any type of features or performance you want because it was cost too much, and spend all profits on advertisement and production. They have brainwashed millions of Americans into believing it's the best phone ever made. The iPhone 4, WAS, the best phone ever made, for it's time. Every phone afterward, they added the most minor detail possible; an inch to the screen, an extra 0.1 GHz to the processor, and a deliberate defect that can destroy the phone with something as little as a software update, like the iOS 11.3.2 update for instance, that overloaded the iPhone 6, 6S, and SE and made them heat up and die, and made the network LTE band on the 7 and 7 Plus break. But, let's not forget to mention the iPhone 8 Plus, that is EXPLODING, and still on sale.

More to the reason for all of these defects is that the Apple Care program is offering you an easier way to have your $700 phone deliberately broken by the manufacturer so you can pay to have it repaired, after they take your device and replace it, the old device is used for spare parts, and the used parts are then integrated into their newer, more expensive models, like the 8, 8 Plus, and X. Yes, people, they are made of USED PARTS.

Furthermore, it being the only company that uses (and is allowed to use) the iOS platform, whenever review sites do benchmarks and tests between iPhones and android phones, iPhones always tend to "soar through" because technically, they are making continuous minor updates to the original processor to try and run the original software (that hasn't had any features added in years) faster. When you compare it to a Samsung that has quadruple the cores, its not really a fair fight, seeing as it is running Android firmware, with Samsung specific extra features, and is running several processes and features at once instead of just the benchmark app they are using. Comparing an iPhones performance to a Samsung is like comparing a Fiat 500 to a V12 Formula 1 racer, and saying the Fiat won because they were testing gas mileage.

"The iPhone has better parts"
iPhones have a long history of breaking within a year of getting it. Samsung's and other higher quality Android devices have lasted 4-5 years of moderate use easily if taken care of. It's rumored the new "A11 Bionic" in the 8 Plus and X is actually made by Qualcomm, it's CONFIRMED that the OLED screen in the iPhone X is made by Samsung and the "revolutionary camera" was made by Sony, the same camera, in fact, that is in the Galaxy Note 8.


First off, I don"t think the word "scam" is the one you"re looking for in this argument. Apple ultimately offer a product that works, and works very well. Of course they use all their advertising knowledge to push people into buying the latest model, but that"s the whole premise of a for-profit company. So a "scam"? Most definitely not. (Also, the "EXPLODING" remark in your second paragraph... I"m not going to spell out how Samsung - a major competitor - went viral for that exact same thing. Manufacturing problems exist, this does not constitute scamming.)

It"s not how powerful the hardware is, it"s how the software uses that power. There"s no point iPhones don"t have to be overly powerful if they don"t have to be. Because a lot of hardware and software is produced and assembled in-house, they can be optimised to work perfectly together. This is why iOS can work so much more smoothly on an iPhone compared to Android - developed by Google - on a Samsung device.

"iPhones have a long history of breaking within a year of getting it." I"m not sure where you get that information but I know people that have had iPhones for years and haven"t had any reason to upgrade. We all know of the battery situation that just went on with Apple, and I think they handled it rather professionally and fairly. What they did was wrong (in that they weren"t transparent - but technically they were right to do what they did) but they owned up to it and now offered cheap battery replacements while not slowing their devices down.

Apple do receive many components for their iPhones from different companies. However I really can"t see how this contributes to the scamming argument. Many big companies out source certain parts of product developments to more specialists companies in that field - like screens, like cameras. Furthermore, many companies that use all in-house development have spent years buying out small, specialist companies that work under the banner of the larger company to develop their products - a more quiet version of out sourcing.

Overall, I can"t see how iPhones could be considered a "scam," of course Apple are going to say their phone is the best, just like every other phone developer. It"s their job to sell and make the biggest profit possible. Their customers are not forced to buy the latest model, they"re not forced to take out additional insurance, and they"re not sold products that don"t do what they say on the tin.

I"m pretty deep in the Apple ecosystem (which I"m sure would develop into a separate debate) but I don"t hate other devices. I"ve seen that Samsung screens are beautifully coloured and bright, and I know that Google Assistant and Alexa are much more powerful than Siri. However, iPhones just work so well on their own and with other Apple products that I can"t see myself changing anytime soon, and I really can"t consider these devices a scam.

Thanks! This has been my first response to a debate, so cheers for that! Looking forward to the rest of it.

P.S. Apologies if that was a bit long, I guess I"m taking liberties with the 8,000 word limit!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate! Your response was not too long and it was very thought out; you make a very convincing argument!

I just want to clarify, I'm not calling the company a scam, I actually enjoy some of their products, though overpriced. I am referring to their business practices specifically with the iPhone as a scam, seeing as every year they release a phone with basically the same specifications. For example, in 2016 they released the iPhone 7 with a new processor (A10 Fusion) and took out the headphone jack (unacceptable) and in 2017 they released the iPhone 8 with same processor (A10 Fusion [unacceptable]). The only thing it seems Apple ever makes an effort to do is add 1 new feature that you missed out on with several Android phones they were competing with a few years ago.

"Works very well" is a broad statement, seeing as the only thing an iPhone does, is be an iPhone. The iPhone 4 worked "very well" and every phone after it did, but they all did the same thing, nothing more. You would actually receive more power, features, something significant when a new Android phone came out but the iPhone would still only do the same thing: be an iPhone. Sometimes it seems they spend so much money on advertising that they can't afford any actual improvements, especially when the only advertisements you'll ever see for an iPhone are the fact that it's the new iPhone but don't describe any improvements in the commercial, or they advertise parts they didn't even make, i.e, the camera on the iPhone X (Sony). Where when you actually see an advertisement for LG or Samsung, you will see features, performance, and improvements, or if you reference a recent Samsung commercial, all they did is show every way (every year) the iPhone has been several steps behind and they have always had the features you wanted, but you stayed with an iPhone.

Yes I did mention they are exploding regardless of the Samsung epidemic. Neither Samsung nor iPhone are the first cell phone to explode, I agree "manufacturing problems exist". The difference is when other companies (like Samsung) have an exploding phone, they compensate and recall, where Apple has done nothing except give you an affordable way to replace it, and continue selling it, regardless of the safety of the customer. This may not be a scam but it is unsafe and irresponsible.

"It"s not how powerful the hardware is, it"s how the software uses that power." I agree more than you know. However, the iPhone uses it's slightly-increased-yearly power to run the same software with very limited new features. The only features they will actually add are features specific to the phone so-as to make other users think they got the wrong phone because they don't know they have that feature. Truth is, you can download almost any feature on Play Store, for any Android phone, regardless of company. Most users don't know half the things their phone can do, because with Android, anything is possible.

"they can be optimised to work perfectly together." This is not my argument. For the older phones, they did make quality parts and the fact they were made specifically for the OS was very impressive, but when they made no effort to improve on these parts and did very minimal work on the software, it gets annoying at some point. Also, Android is optimized and customized by manufacturers to work in a certain way on all Android devices, depending on manufacturer. Not to say I'm biased, but I prefer the way the Android works on Samsung devices because Samsung has features specific to the manufacturer on their OS that I enjoy, such as Ultra Power Saving Mode, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Smart Switch.

I may or may not be able to come up with a source proving they barely work properly for a year, this is not an opinion, but it is from personal experience. I've worked for AT&T and Sprint for a couple of years now. On both accounts, I received numerous calls from customers that were having problems with their Apple devices. On very rare occasion I would get calls from people having problems with their Samsung devices (which was literally always a phone with a cracked screen), but not many calls at all from people using phones from other manufacturers (unless it was to say they didn't like the layout and wanted the previous phone back). Also, I don't think it was a coincidence that every time there was a tremendous issue with Apple devices, i.e. the iPhone 6/6S/SE heating up, wearing faster, dying and melting, or the iPhone 7 having the LTE band break for no apparent reason, right after a major software update. Also, as I've been working at Sprint, I've been helping sales reps only, and due to Sprint's security policy, phones can only be activated by calling my department to activate. In my department, I, and my coworkers, get on average 15-25 calls a day from Apple stores. I can't recall ever getting a call to activate a new device or upgrade. I've had Sprint stores call to activate upgraded iPhones, but every call I get from Apple, (EVERY CALL) I am replacing a model with the same model (6 with 6, 6s with 6s, 7 with 7, etc. and most commonly with iPhone X and 8 Plus). The "exploding" remark I made was told to me by an actual Apple store employee. I also saw in the opinions section about iPhone vs Samsung or something like that there was a testimonial by someone that actually works at Apple tech support and vouches that the phones are made horribly and almost all employees avoid the brand.

I touched on the "components for their iPhones from different companies" relating to "scam" in the third paragraph.

Lastly, "iPhones just work so well on their own and with other Apple products". I just want to say, the way that iPhones work well with other apple devices is synonymous with Android devices. Though I'm not sure whom did what first, I do know that I can have a Samsung phone, an ASUS tablet, and an LG watch and have all of my texts, calendars, e-mails, and applications working together in perfect harmony regardless of their manufacturer, because that's what Android was made to do.

I'd also like to say I have an Amazon Echo myself, and enjoy it, but Google Assistant (and Duplex) are about to be the most top-of-the-line AI out there. Can you believe they got it to make intelligent phone calls for you?


No problem! Thanks for the compliments and for being so open minded. I understand that sounds condescending at face value but most of my debate experience online has been, well, less thought out by other parties. I"m sure you"ve encountered similar issues.

OK, I"ll try to steer away from talking about the iPhone"s connectivity to the rest of the Apple ecosystem. So for the release strategy for iPhones...

I"ll begin by making a small correction, the iPhone 8/8 Plus were fitted with the A11 chip, the newest processor that was installed in the iPhone X.
(Also, as a side note, I cannot see the removal of the headphone jack as unacceptable. We"re moving ever closer to a cable-free world and Apple simply decided to give the mobile world a little push in that regard. I still think Apple will be the first company to release a phone without a physical charging port once wireless charging is more readily used. Whether people like it, wireless is the future and we"re getting there quickly.)

So let"s look at their release strategy since the iPhone 4 [2010]...
[2011] iPhone 4s: Basic all round improvements - support for Siri (a big thing back then).
[2012] iPhone 5: Another natural update, better processor, camera, screen, etc. Plus 4G network support.
[2013] iPhone 5s: Basic update, Touch ID introduced.
[2013] iPhone 5c: Budget phone born of demand & supply.
[2014] iPhone 6/6 Plus: A bigger overhaul. Again, an update of all the important stuff with addition of Apple Pay support. These had a problem with bending. I remember watching videos of people bending that phone. It looked difficult.
[2015] iPhone 6s/6s Plus: Another basic upgrade to the previous generation.
[2016] iPhone SE: Demand & supply. People wanted a smaller screen phone.
[2016] iPhone 7/7 Plus: Standard upgrades.
[2017] iPhone 8/8 Plus: Essentially a new standard iPhone to go alongside the X. Addition of wireless charging and other features.
[2017] iPhone X: The first major upgrade since the iPhone 6. Complete redesign - new flagship.

If you look at the Samsung (I get that this isn"t an iPhone vs Galaxy debate, it"s just to compare Apple to a rival companies and understand the similarities) their releases are much the same. They"ve released less phones in the Galaxy range; all of their "Plus" equivalents went to the "Note". But the upgrades and features are similar: basic processor, camera, screen upgrades and including the current year"s latest update, wether that be water proofing, wireless charging, finger scanning, etc. These are basic release strategies, Apple are just a lot more "bling" with their advertising.

Scam just doesn"t cut it for me. I get that it"s a system designed to push you towards the latest release - just like any other company - but I currently can"t see these tactics as a scam.

I"ll drop a few arguments because you"re right, that"s not what you were asserting and it gets too far away from the primary discussion topic, but they would be interesting to discuss in another forum.

I would like some examples of features that other phones currently have that far surpass the iPhone"s if you could. That"s the only thing I feel I"m not too comfortable in rebuking as I don"t have the facts in front of me. Although I have kept up to date with comparison videos in the past but they all seem to be, "These phones all have A, B & C, let"s see which one opens apps quickest."

Thanks for the quick reply!
Debate Round No. 2


For my last rebuttal, I'd like to begin by apologizing, I cannot figure out where I heard that the iPhone 8 had the A10 and 8 Plus had the A11, but I realize now that was incorrect.

I understand that we are "moving ever closer to a cable-free world", but a headphone jack is a necessity, as Bluetooth headsets simply don't give the raw sound that plug-in headsets do, unless you don't care about sound which would eliminate the necessity. Also, (I'm not sure exactly which Android phones do this, but) Samsung has a feature when listening to music (both dedicated and Spotify) to use both basic and advanced equalizers to make the best sound, making the necessity for a headphone jack to plug in powerful headphones. Also, I, personally, would be outraged if cell phones did not have physical chargers, I also see this as a necessity, unless wireless charging was made more convenient. (And I will definitely be making a new debate for that topic after this, thank you) but I would regardless like to choose to plug my phone in if desired.

I don't disagree with your timeline at all other than that I thought the 4-6 all had the same camera, don't feel like looking it up, I'll take your word for it. However, at the same time your timeline merely proves my point, almost every improvement made from the 4 to the x were improvements Samsung made in 2 generations, not 9. Also, the plus variants weren't made to match the Notes, they were made to match the plus, edge, and active variants of Samsung. The iPhone X is the first Apple phone made to match the Note series, and still doesn't even quite stack up to the Note 5. In fact, in a way the J-Series was actually made to match the regular iPhones and may not quite in some cases beat them in speed, but still beats them in features for less than $200. Also including the plus, edge, and active variants, Samsung has released more phones in the Galaxy range, and that's still excluding the Note Series.

"But the upgrades and features are similar: basic processor, camera, screen upgrades and including the current year"s latest update, wether that be water proofing, wireless charging, finger scanning, etc. These are basic release strategies, Apple are just a lot more "bling" with their advertising." They do have similar upgrade features because those are the features that all smartphones update, they are the only features that need updating, but my point is everything that is now available with the newest iPhones was available with the Galaxy s6, and more.

Lastly, to give some examples from personal experience of features that far surpass the iPhone, I would say that multitasking is much better, more apps have made it available on Android and the ability to pair certain apps to open together is a plus to that. Home screen navigation and customization is much better, allowing you to base your home screen in the middle instead of the left, allowing the use of widgets, and downloadable live wallpapers and themes, (currently my wallpaper plays Galaga live) and their power saving is far more superior, allowing you to choose to keep operations normal and lessen background usage, reduce colors to grayscale, lessen brightness, or go to Ultra Power Saving Mode to lessen screen apps and features to so minimal that you can call, text and use the internet and social media while still keeping to battery running for up to 3 days of heavy use (up to 2 weeks in standby).

I hope I've done everything I could to educate you and others on my stance and look forward to seeing your last rebuttal. Thank you for your time, this was a great debate!


So for the sake of argument I"ll attempt to count the headphone jack discussion... I completely understand that personal preference is the primary factor in peoples" disapproval of the removal of the headphone jack. I for one love wireless headphones; I hate wires and when I"m out and about, I don"t get wires snagging on my clothes or causing the buds to tug down on my ears, etc. It"s mainly a comfort and freedom thing with me. Personal preferences aside, technology development companies must, to some extent, ignore customers in an attempt to push on to future technology. Apple are one of the most ruthless with this. They constantly discontinue products and old services to push onto the newer products. It"s like how Dyson have stopped creating corded vacuum cleaners.
I wouldn"t be too happy with my phone not having a wired charging port, but I don"t understand that it"s most likely a natural progression in our technology, maybe not any time soon, but eventually. By that time, every piece of furniture in your house will have built in wireless charging capabilities, every public bench, restaurant, car, bus, etc.
This would make a good debate of its own!

OK, onto the issue.

First off, I"m going to write this the best I can without popping into the Apple vs Samsung debate... wish me luck.
I"ll say something that I should have said earlier: I don"t think that because other companies do things first, that constitutes towards the iPhone production being a scam. Apple have always said their goal is to be the best, not the first. And I think they manage this in many respects.
There are definitely pros and cons to every phone. I don"t think it"s as clear to say, "Well this one is better in every department." (I"m not suggesting that you ever said that.)
Let"s take the iPhone X & the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (not for verses, but just as comparison between released features) which came out around the same time.
- Samsung exceeded with the screen colours and pixels, as they often do, but iPhone exceeded with their whole-screen 3D Touch.
- The rear cameras are near on identical. However the iPhone X video captures 4K 60FPS compared to the 4K 30FPS from the Samsung.
- The front facing camera is slightly different. The Samsung beats the iPhone on hardware and image quality, but the technology produced by the iPhone in Face ID, Animoji and software probably make the iPhone camera the superior.

I"ve only touched on a couple of things there but the difference in features, to me, are negligible. And often, they"ll both exceed in some places, and fall short in others. My point is that I don"t think the differences in iPhones compared to others in the market are so vast.

I don"t think this can be considered a scam. My mind hasn"t changed in that regard. Now if you were saying that iPhones are overpriced (which I"m sure you would say), I"d completely agree with you. I think anyone on the other side of that argument is in for a solid defeat...

I"ll end this here and say thanks for having such an open debate. You"ve definitely opened my mind to both the release strategies of Samsung and Apple, and have given me some important things to look into in the future. I do like Samsung"s multitasking feature! Could do with that... I hope I"ve given you something to think over and while I may have no changed your mind, I hope that I"ve given you more to think about when discussing the topic in the future!

Thanks for your time, and I hope we can debate something else soon!
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Adam-R 3 years ago
Indeed haha. Well I had fun writing and discussing it anyway!

I"ll apologise if I made any errors in my last argument. I"m not an expert in any phone or tech company, And I think I perhaps got too bogged down in technical data.

Thanks for the debate! I still hold my view that iPhones (the design, Manufacturing, Release, Etc. ) are not a scam, But thanks for being up some points that I"ve not thought of before! Cheers.
Posted by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 3 years ago
well, This was nothing.
Posted by Masdebating69 3 years ago
Just to correct a couple of things from the last argument for people that read this in the future, like a I said in previous arguments, the Note 8 and iPhone X have the exact same camera, most websites did comparisons and reviews early because they are biased toward iPhones, and keep the outdated 30FPS 4K comment on there, but Samsung released an update alongside the iPhone X release that made the camera 60FPS 4K, and also the iPhone did not beat the Samsung screen in 3D touch, because Samsung actually made the screen for the iPhone X and the Samsung screen can detect over 4,000 levels of pressure. I will submit, though, I believe the front facing camera on the iPhone X is literally the ONLY thing that separates it from other phones, but when you take the time to realize that they only made it that way for Face ID, Face ID is it's only marketable Apple feature, the fact they got it 3-4 years late and the fact they want you to use it as your only form of authentication and Samsung has the ability to use every authentication form at once (including retina scanning), it's still kind of a scam. Thank you Adam also for this debate.
Posted by dustryder 3 years ago
Con already pointed it out. Scam has a pretty specific definition that has a high burden of proof. It may not have been what you intended, but anyone could've nailed you to the door on that single point
Posted by Masdebating69 3 years ago
And for the second time, someone literally joined the site just to accept my debate.
Posted by Masdebating69 3 years ago
How? I've already won a debate with the same argument just copied and pasted the argument, just trying to get some more convincing arguments. I'll add sources on round 2. Comparing an iPhone to almost any other phone is a losing battle because they are all the same.
Posted by dustryder 3 years ago
You've set yourself up to fail with this one
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