If we are to look at software or devices that companies simply stop “supporting” we can begin to see how planned obsolescence a concept first enacted in ca. 1923, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence to get past market saturation and have customers shorten their replacement cycle based on fashion, style, et al.
How far have electronics companies gone past that with planned software bloat, software changes that make previous hardware unusable for all but the most basic functions? How do we stop this? Will it ever stop? How can we let tech companies claim to be sustainable if they force the unnecessary “recycling” of millions of devices too often?
Here is another article on this, and many more are out there.
Day 1: This blog has been set up as a place to highlight and comment on the elevated degree and increasing speed in which planned obsolescence, or #engineeredobsolescence is being built into machines in order to increase sales, decrease product life and somehow consumers are going along with it.
Well this is a chance for us to highlight these things, for experts to comment and explain why and how it happens, and how much is necessary.
Product development not only plans for an exit strategy product end life plan, but companies also bring products to market that are not the best thing available, but what they think the next iteration they can get people to pay for. Because of that paying customers are coerced into buying a product that has already been replaced by the company, just that the replacement is not available for sale yet.
Ever have your smartphone slowdown around the time a new model is released? Do you have a tablet or computer that you paid full rice for a few years ago, that now can not even access basic internet? Do you drive a vehicle whose parts wear out making it prohibitively expensive to fix at an age and milage that 20 years ago would have been considered round 1 of a vehicle’s life? Disposable cars? Have prices decreased commensurate with their decreased life span? No, quite the opposite, they have gone up.
What about all the miracle technology that has trickled down from Formula 1, and product development and technological innovation over the years? Has this resulted in increased fuel economy? Yes to some degree, but largely due to a reduction in vehicle weights due to cheaper and lighter materials, safer designs and less polluting vehicles. Mostly the tech has gone into making vehicles more powerful, faster and able to propel your average soccer mom’s SUV / Mini van through a Starbucks front window faster than you can say “If I have to tell you to stop sticking your tongue out at your sister I will turn this car around.”
Well in all seriousness that would take quite some time to say, but still you get the idea. In 1983 a 5.0 liter Mustang was 173 hp. Now your average run of the mill Chrysler mini van is 285 hp. Because we are all in a hurry, and need the power to overtake another car so we can get, well,