Planned Obsolescence Explained. - GoTechTalk

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Planned Obsolescence Explained.

Planned Obsolescence Explained.

Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order it is a prominent feature of our Modern economy and it's generally preferable to us the consumers, for example and digital cameras came out in the 1980s and replaced film cameras this is called technological obsolescence simply put digital cameras are just technically more advanced another example we use every day would be the USB as the name suggests USB replaced many unstandardized serial and parallel ports which were used in the old days, this is called functional obsolescence in the first example adoption of digital cameras brought about convenience and lowered cost of video production in the second example USB standardised computer connections and made our lives a lot easier, it is not hard to see that obsolescence in those cases is generally a good thing it is a by product of innovation, although by definition we're throwing away older versions of the product, we're doing so to improve our productivity and hence generate more value for our society.



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We are talking about planned obsolescence which is the dark side of innovation that people seldom talk about, it refers to the act of planning or designing a product with an artificially imposed useful life, artificially being the key word here; the famous American industrial designer Brock Stevens called planned obsolescence the active in stealing in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer a little better a little sooner than is necessary and I have no problem with it because as a consumer I'm given full information whether or not I would buy the product is based on my desire of that therefore this is not what makes planned obsolescence undesirable the part of planned obsolescence I'm not happy with is when the manufacturer purposely hide information that would affect my purchasing decisions until very recently it was a seldom discussed industry norm have you ever wondered why your smartphone begin to slow down after a few years of use.


I have many you asking me why their smartphones start to slow down a few month after purchase, here's the answer Planned Obsolescence. Apple denied exercising planned obsolescence of course; but the sheer fact that it did not even bother to inform its customers about this change is a testament to the prevalence of planned obsolescence in the mobile industry, indeed our smartphones are not designed to work forever in the first place many budget manufacturers use materials of lower quality to control the cost of the phone for example when manufacturers make a smart phone there's this process called wire bonding which uses one of the following materials to make interconnections between an integrated circuit and its packaging gold is the referred material among them which will give the product a longer lifespan, however many budget smartphone manufacturers decide to use copper instead to save cost as a customer we would not feel the effect when we first start to use the phone but the product ages the one built with copper lacks significantly more than its counterpart built with gold this is the opportunity cost of buying a cheaper smartphone.

So going back to the question asked, why do our smartphones slow down after a while?; Well it was never meant to work forever perhaps because of the components deteroration perhaps due to the wear and tear of the phone itself it is desigined to be osbolete in a few years time, we are ok with all of that; however whatever the reason might be oyr phones should never be slow down because its manufacture made a decisionto slow it down for us.

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