Have you ever bought an iPod and found out a month later that they are releasing a new one with some fancy new features, a new color, or design? I’m sure this has happened to most of us, and man is it upsetting. The idea of “Planned Obsolescence” is when a company deliberately plans or designs a product to have a limited life, so it will become obsolete after a certain period of time. Guess what happens after that? You go out out and buy a new one. Not only does this relate to product design and features but, also hardware and functionality. Apple has consistently been one of the most successful at planned obsolescence but, is it a good business strategy or evil ploy to have consumers keep buying your products.
Recently Apple has been criticized in many ways for their products being guilty of planned obsolescence. They developed new 5 point screws in iPhone’s and macbook’s that are very unique and hard to find any tools to open them. Many believe it’s to prevent keep users out and have to rely on Apple for expensive repairs. Another example Apple has been criticized for is that they have developed their iPhones with built in batteries. Before the iPhone, it was unheard of to have a battery that wasn’t easily replaceable. After all, batteries usually only have a lifespan about 300 – 400 cycles. Instead after the batteries die, they give you two options, have only Apple replace the battery for $85.95 or buy a new phone.
iFixit’s blog states that: “This isn’t just planned obsolescence—this is planned failure. Apple is making billions by selling us hardware with a built-in death clock. It is designed to fail after 400 cycles, conveniently coordinated with their annual hardware release cycle. Dead, hard to replace battery every year. New iPhone every year.”
Is Apple purposely trying to make you you buy new products when your current device has a problem? It’s hard to say, but, it sure seems they make it difficult as possible so you should upgrade, rather than repair your device. What do you think?
Read more about Apple’s Planned Failure from Ifixit’s Blog