WHAT IS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE?
Planned Obsolescence by definition is the policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life or a purposeful frail design so that it becomes obsolete after a certain predetermined period of time.
Whether we believe it or not, Planned Obsolescence is deeply integrated into the market, and we have no option to go with it. There a million ways to make a product last for eternity but the manufacturers shy away from this fact and deliberately make products that are supposed to work for a limited amount of time.
Here are some Planned Obsolescence categorized in different types of industries:
1. APPLE’S PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
Since the launch of the original iPhone, Apple has been in the reports constantly about their product. One such incidence of Planned Obsolescence came in 2017 when they tried to slow down the performance of the phones through an iOS update. To this speculation, Apple answers by saying that they want to preserve battery health for longevity.
Obviously, people got really angry and many lawsuits were filed against them but everything was settled after the CEO of Apple Tim Cook apologized.
Bad or good, no one can deny the fact that Apple’s product makes a significant difference in your lives directly and indirectly through competition.
The phone industry in general targets the average consumer to buy a new phone every year, although any new modern smartphone can easily last about 3 to 4 years, they persuade by creating a futile hype that the consumer general falls into. This is an indirect example of Planned Obsolescence.
Some manufacturers have even started launching phones at a 6-month interval, which makes the average consumer even more prone to falling in the ditch created by them.
2. LIGHT BULBS
Light bulbs are a very specific topic to talk about. They provide a deep understanding of how the planned obsolescence was done right. It was a situation where the companies were looking for profits instead of delivering the best quality products out there.
Before the starting era of planned obsolescence the best minds in the business were determined to give the best products out there in order to sell better than the competition, but sooner they realized selling a product that lasts forever will be an ingenious move inspired by “hammering your own foot” because, in the end, you will end up your own customer base altogether.
In the 1930s era, this phenomenon was at its peak when people realized what making the best product could do. So, they opted for making a product limited by design and value without telling the consumers about it.
The great companies of the 1930s made a cartel or organization in which they limited anyone whose product lasted more than a specified number of hours.
3. CARS (AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY)
The automobile is a $10 Trillion industry, do you have any idea how it got to such a big amount. Simply by following the planned obsolescence thing. Cars are typically made for 5 to 6 years, and as a matter of fact, every manufacturer is coming out with new cars after this cycle gets over.
Everything in the industry is set up like this and the cycle continues with proper discipline and is followed by every manufacturer.
Sure it provides an easy way to hop into your own vehicle and make the commute or to go to any places independent of the current situation.
There are some manufacturers that believe in sheer quality over quantity, these manufacturers are highly sought after and are out of the reach of many individuals. Generally, their cars go up in value in the long run along with some limited edition cars which also go up in value.
These particular cars are like gold, as you have to space for them to park and you have to take care of them, also prevent them from any theft or damages that it can get over the years. But mind you for the rest of us your car is not an asset rather it’s a liability. It loses 30% of its value the time you drive it off the parking lot of the showroom.
4. CLOTHING INDUSTRY
The clothing industry is a bad bad example of such a phenomenon. They make you feel poor all the time by launching new clothes every time and by launching newer trends every time. Celebrities are at the center of this industry, they are the ones who destroy and create the image of a brand and start a new trend altogether.
The industry is very clever as it has made the world believe if you don’t have branded stuff in your closet then you are definitely doing something wrong in your life. It is also clever in the sense that the fashion trend that was there in the past repeats itself because they are proven and protected by history, so no new experiment needs to be carried out. Simple yet brilliant idea in itself.
“We buy things we don’t need, with the money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t even like.”
It’s an endless trap that people never get out of. If someone loses the urgency of dressing in only branded stuff then in the long run they can clearly save a lot of money and invest that money into something fruitful.