Meaning of Scheduled Obsolescence

What is Planned Obsolescence:

Scheduled obsolescence, also known as planned obsolescence, means reducing the life of a product to increase consumption of newer versions.

The determination of the useful life of a product or service is planned by the company or manufacturer with the aim of increasing demand, by stimulating consumers to buy new products with new technology and performance in their functions. Generally, the user wants to have the latest version of electronic devices such as Apple, Samsung, etc., to enjoy their new inventions in relation to the previous model.

For more information, see the Obsolete article.

According to the documentary buy, throw away, buySome of the most significant examples of planned obsolescence are:

  • The bulbs, in principle, had a duration of 1500 hours. As the years passed, they altered their duration to 2500 hours. In 1924, a meeting was held in Geneva in which its assistants agreed to reduce the life of a light bulb to 1000 hours.
  • The nylon stockings, for a time were characterized by their difficult tear, leading to reduce profits, so their representatives decided to make the nylon stockings with other materials that allow ease of breaking, forcing customers to the subsequent purchase of the product.
  • The printers, after exceeding the allowed number of prints, will stop working, being very expensive to repair.

Programmed obsolescence can be seen as a positive marketing strategy, specifically for the company that markets the product, since it stimulates consumerism, inducing the purchase of modern and attractive models, leaving aside the alternative of repairing the old appliance by its high cost, so that the consumer feels obliged to replace their product with a new one.

See the marketing article.

Planned obsolescence consists of disposing of old products or products that no longer work to a garbage dump, achieving a visual, environmental and health impact on the inhabitants, since the devices are made with chemicals of high toxic levels and very harmful to health. That is why the call to large companies for the use of electronic waste recycling and the elimination of planned obsolescence.

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