Andy Tran

University Seventh-day
Adventist Church

Craving iPhones


Craving iPhones

Sep 9, 2016Thoughts

On Wednesday, the most valuable company in the world unveiled the next iteration of their smartphone lineup. If you have been hiding under a rock or having a life outside of an electronic screen (congratulations to you!) we will catch you up. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were officially announced by Apple.

This year’s version follows the same pattern as the previous 2 or so generations. Aside from the technical details (faster processors, better wireless technology to handle those wireless earbuds, etc) the more exciting (more on this term later) details involve a water resistant screen (score for accidents), dual cameras on the 7 Plus and overall camera enhancements (to make your face look much better), a taptic engine home button (gradual weaning away from the home button dependency), and of course, the big one: no headphone jack.

As part of the annual cycle of Apple technology critics have lined up yet again to bash what appears to be a yawning release. Nothing exciting or special seems to stand out regarding these iPhones. In fact, when the 6s and 6s Plus came out last year the same critics argued that nothing was exciting or worth the upgrade. Same for the previous year, and the year before that (basically since Tim Cook has taken over as CEO). Each year it is the same: incremental upgrades and overall enhancements to make the experience complete.

Yet, every year, despite what the critics say, somehow the money keeps rolling in for Apple. Yes, overall smartphone shipments are on the decline, and the same is true for iPhones. Yet, Apple seems to buck the trend upon each new release. Whether it is a new record of pre-orders to less-than-expected shipment declines compared to its competitors, the numbers still reveal that there are still people who desire to have the latest and greatest iPhone, even if it is an incremental upgrade over their current model.

The stories are significantly less crazy now, but people still jump through interesting hoops to have the latest. Couples will go on a share-and-switch plan, where two year contracts end every other year, allowing an upgrade in the family every year. Some even sign up for upgrade plans or choose to “rent” the device, paying a premium to have permission to upgrade without spending $800 a year for a new phone. Those that desire the latest will do whatever is in their power to stay updated.

Perhaps it is no longer about the device itself that causes people to do anything to have the latest. We may yawn at a larger screen being “revolutionary” or a new rose gold color (that ends up hidden behind that ugly yet necessary phone case), but there is still great interest. Apple has carefully crafted a reputation of quality and excellence, along with creating emotional connections to its products. The numbers do not lie. It is not the small yet reliable iPhone upgrades that continue to generate interest in owning the latest iteration. People desire to be a part of the Apple ecosystem. They are addicted to the line of quality and excellence. They yearn to have the latest because it is the latest. They crave owning the newest because it is the newest. That connection goes deeper than dual cameras, rose gold or jet black colors, or larger screens.

What does this have to do with anything that is going on at UCHURCH? If you have not yet noticed, this semester we are having CRAVE groups. What are they? Groups that eat and study God’s Word together. Groups that crave a deeper knowledge of God’s love. Groups that hang out together because there is strength in numbers. Groups that know there is so much to learn about the Gospel, that they want to meet and study together even if it is during the school year.

Like the incremental improvements to the iPhone, CRAVE groups in and of itself will not be the jaw dropping event you may expect. But, like an iPhone, it will be the portal into a whole new world where everyone present studies together to learn about how deep the Father’s love is for you. It may not be CRAVE group itself that will have you say “WOW,” but it will be the content that will cause you to want more.

CRAVE groups start in two weeks. Want to know more? Find us on MSU’s campus next week (September 12-16). But more importantly, sign up for a CRAVE group by clicking on this rather long hyperlink (so you do not miss it).

Whether you choose to study foundational Bible truths, to prophecy and its role today, to the tight relationship between health and the gospel, or challenging your mind with Christian apologetics, there is something here you may be craving. We are here to study together, challenge beliefs, learn about Jesus, and share an awesome addiction to the Gospel that Jesus died to save you from sin and reestablish the connection between God and us.

Again, in case you missed it, sign up for a CRAVE group by clicking here.

Are you CRAVE-ing something?



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