Why The New Is Increasingly More Perishable Than The Old? — Planned Obsolescence
The Great Pyramid is the only survivor of the seven wonders of the ancient world standing a staggering 137 meters tall. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the pyramids in a span of 85 years between 2589 and 2504 BC. We are still to unravel this longstanding mystery of pyramids –how they were built? And their near perfect alignments of every corner without using proper scientific tools.
But now, even with all scientific tools and technologies, products are short-lived because of ‘planned obsolescence’
Planned Obsolescence phrase was first popularized in 1954 by Brooks Stevens, an American industrial designer
Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary.
💥The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy
In 1924, The Phoebus cartel engineered a shorter-lived lightbulb and gave birth to planned obsolescence.
One of the key accomplishments of the global lightbulb association known as the Phoebus cartel was to plot shorter-lived lamps. Motivated by profits and increased sales, not by what was best for the consumer, light bulb lifespan was reduced on purpose. Now the same thing is coming to LED bulbs.
💥Apple iPhone Deliberate Slowdown
Today everything is driven by economics. Recently Apple was investigated by France for ‘planned obsolescence’. Apple admitted that older iPhone models were deliberately slowed down through software updates and timed it to coincide with the release of the newer model.
Most of the technological products that we buy and use are designed with planned obsolescence in mind.
Contrived durability: Work towards expected lifetime only. Use inferior materials in critical areas, cheap plastic instead of metal. Fragile batteries in mobiles.
Prevention of repairs: You can’t tamper with Apple products. Hardly any screw that is visible or you can’t use common tools. Cost of this repair may outdo the residual value of the machine, forcing it to be scrapped
Perceived obsolescence: Make continuous use of product difficult by altering the system.
Programmed obsolescence: After some use (partial not full) make user buy/replace consumables like ink cartridge
Artificial Demand: Mass media and advertisements creating demand for better and more goods and services
Artificial scarcity: Even though the product, features or service is available in abundance but producers are restricting production to obtain maximum profits