Obsolescence, anticipated or built-in, can be highly attractive to manufacturers of electronics. It is a way of ensuring that demand remains viable for the devices they produce. Producers build their products with built-in end-of-life scenarios with expected obsolescence. That is expected obsolescence at work if you happen to buy a cell phone intended to break down or even shut down entirely after two years.
But for the world, this also means bad news. Although planned obsolescence is an excellent way to calculate and protect income, it is a devastating way of contributing to the existing electronic waste problem rather than reducing it.
- Exploring planned obsolescence
The thoughts and ideas behind expected obsolescence are thoroughly capitalist, some claim. Indeed, it might logically inspire the average customer to think so by thinking about designing devices to fail after a specific time or after a certain amount of use.
The impetus behind the theory of expected obsolescence appears to be much more prospective. The concept is that planning to fix or replace a device during the design process will build an enduring list of buyers duped into purchasing something intended to break down from the outset, solely for the company’s benefit. But there are reliable electronic sellers who will not dupe you; it takes simple supply principles and demands further.
Expected obsolescence encompasses the spectrum of the nature of materials. A range of products, from vehicles to some say) iPhones have been in the plan for years with scheduled short-term product cycles.
- Planned obsolescence, Recycling, and Waste
All common planned obsolescence types include ink cartridges in printers, tablet processors, and irreplaceable batteries in smartphones.
It is well acknowledged that the technological devices of today do not age gracefully. Just a short time after purchase, successive generations of updates will make specific devices entirely out-of-date. It ensures that customers are continuously motivated to check out the newest squeaky-clean upgrade and buy it.
- What happens to an old computer
Nothing, usually. Suppose an old device is traded to a manufacturer with close links to a reputable recycler. In that case, old appliances may pile up illegal ways as customers stockpile or dump them irresponsibly. “Some of these computers, home desk drawers, garages, basements, attics and company storage rooms across the globe, end up in “tech graveyards. In worst-case cases, they end up illegally in landfills or stacked high in the infamous e-waste mountains of West African developing countries, China, or India.
Smartphones and tablets are not the only gadgets that are not designed to withstand the time test. In the proposed obsolescence model, computer games and video game consoles have long been outdated. But this means that the obvious consequence is that whether such ancient machines are repaired or sold, they end up poorly disposed of, thereby contributing to the ongoing e-waste crisis.
Expected obsolescence is currently legal in most cases
There are no regulations against expected obsolescence by most governments. Companies that make electronic devices are usually free to create and design their products with minimal durability if they want to do so.
At least one country, however, is beginning to reconsider these liberties. France has introduced legislation that would curb and monitor expected obsolescence. In 2015, manufacturers were forced by a French government decree to announce obsolescence dates or timelines for their goods to make customers aware and to give the public the right to informed consumer choices.
Sustainable recycling of electronics could be the best way to offset” the detrimental effects of planned obsolescence.
Electronics recycling is currently one of the easiest ways to balance out the detrimental impacts of expected obsolescence. Certified recycling stands as our best bet to fix the e-waste pile-up presently coming in from almost every direction, including expected obsolescence, for apparent reasons.