That was the message HBO talk-show host Bill Maher had for the iPhone maker on Friday (Sept. 23). And he advised consumers to think twice before forking over their dollars for unnecessary upgrades.
“The only people who really need you to get a new phone are the shareholders,” Maher said. But just because investors want Apple’s stock price to rise “doesn’t mean you need to stand in that nerd line and buy it.”
Apple unveiled the new iPhone 7, which scrapped the headphone jack and boasts an upgraded camera and longer battery life, at its Sept. 7 event. The changes to the device are comparatively minor, as Quartz reporter Mike Murphy noted in his review: “There’s nothing groundbreaking about the new iPhone, but also nothing particularly terrible either.”
From Maher’s vantage point, Apple’s serial release of new products is indicative of corporate America’s unhealthy obsession with growth.
“Somewhere along the way we bought into this insane idea that everything always has to get bigger, especially sales,” he said. He argued that the constant drive for better financial performance can lead companies to engage in unethical behavior, citing the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal as a prime example. “It’s that very pressure for growth, endless growth, even when you’re filthy rich, that led them to a crime where they cheated and deceived their customers,” he added.
Maher put the onus on consumers to see through corporate manipulations and stop buying things they don’t need.
“Somebody has to teach Americans that we don’t always need something new or better every year.”