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Jun 22nd 2012

Hardware Revisions: 3DS XL and iPhone 5

It is common in electronics for a device to go through many iterations during the design phase. This could be anything to do with creating a prototype PCB to getting the right layout for any buttons on a device. It is also fairly common for devices to have remodelled versions put out on the market after the original has gone on sale. Two examples of this have been in the news today and both have been received with mixed reaction.

The first was the reveal of the 3DS XL from Nintendo. This remodelled larger version of the handheld gaming machine sports now sports larger screens, seeing the top screen increase from 3.58inches to 4.88inches and the bottom screen going from 3.02 to 4.18inches. The battery life has also been improved and now comes with a 4GB SD card over the 2GB card that comes with the current console. This new iteration of the console is to appeal to new and existing owners of the current 3DS but doesn’t the size of the device negate the fact that it’s supposed to be a portable gaming device?

Secondly, we have the rumours that Apple is going to be changing the socket on the next iteration of the iPhone. This means there will be thousands of accessories that will not be compatible with the iPhone 5 which means plenty of unhappy iPhone users. The design change is rumoured to allow for a smaller and thinner iPhone or the possibility that cables may be attached by magnets. It will be interesting to see whether this one comes true.

What do you think about companies releasing new versions of hardware? Is it a way for companies to improve on feedback over the original product or just a way for them to make more money?