Planned obsolescence

Planned obsolescence means that manufacturers deliberately design products to fail prematurely or become obsolete, often to sell or upgrade another product – a practice that is banned in some countries. Some manufacturers also limit consumers’ ability to repair their products by using digital locks or proprietary software, using incompatible screws or gluing components together, or refusing to give out their repair instructions. Some add clauses to their user contracts so that people agree (often unknowingly) not to repair their own products. While this is sometimes within the scope of the law, consumers who purchase more connected products are challenged their expectations about what they can and cannot do with a product they have purchased.

For consumers, this means their products won’t last as long as they could, and even small issues will need to be fixed by an authorized repair facility – sometimes with higher costs, greater distances and delays, especially if they don’t want a warranty. For many, this is a disadvantage that arguably hits the poorest and most geographically isolated consumers hardest.

The lifespan of electronic products is shortened, the number of defective devices that are replaced in five years increased from 3.5% in 2004 to 8.3% in 2013. At the same time, intelligent technologies such as those used in telephones are increasingly being used electronic devices the devices The demands on waste and resources increase with each new model. Not to mention the health hazard associated with the nature of component recycling in the informal sector, especially in developing countries.

The idea of planned or built-in obsolescence is certainly not new – it was first written in 1928 by American marketing pioneer Justus George Frederick. A later report reads: He said it was necessary to get people to buy more and more things, not to use them, but to activate trading and throw them away after a short period of time. The concept even has its own movie – in The Man in the White Suit (shot in 1951 and recently shown as part of a BBC comedy series Two Ealing, Triggered by the Lockdown), a chemist falls in love with textile producers and unions for the creation of a material that never needs to be replaced

Some sectors are better known than others for their planned obsolescence. It is generally accepted in fashion that nylon stockings are meant to be walked on and should therefore be routinely replaced.

In the technical field, the replacement cycle for personal electronic devices such as smartphones has been two to three years in the past as components wear out and new generations of software and systems wear out. Operation becomes less compatible with aging hardware. In addition, software is often designed to include new features and file types that are incompatible with older versions of the program.

Consumers often react negatively to planned obsolescence, especially when new generations of products offer insufficient improvements over previous versions. Through this method, brands can be attacked by artificially fueling demand, which ultimately drives the customers away.

Planned obsolescence is not always perceived negatively, however. Companies may only carry out this activity for the purpose of controlling costs. For example, a cell phone manufacturer may choose to use parts with a maximum life of five years in their phones instead of parts that could last 20 years.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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