Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Product obsolesce is natural

Product obsolesce is something that people think is a trick to get consumers to buy more.

I do admit that some companies think that way and the products that they produce only works a few times before it does not work. Thankfully these companies do not last long because customers are not stupid.

However, this phenomena is actually quite natural because of a simple fact... Customers demand more.

In the olden days, people think more simply. For example, when we want to buy a radio, we only want to listen to radio stations. Nowadays when you buy a radio, they give you bluetooth capability to connect to external devices, connection to other music player devices, etc. My trust Aiwa radio receiver is still working after close to 20 years.

The rule of thumb is that the more capabilities you add to a device, the harder it is for the components to work longer as "they" are working harder. These components are also much more prone to damages. One small drop or even exposure to moisture will render the components useless.

Standard rule of thumb is for the devices to last about 5 years. If you can make it last longer, usually it means that some thought was put in to ensure the product lasts as long as possible, provided the owner takes good care of it.

Technology is moving quite fast though. The device that you have might be usable, but the new devices that come out will provide more features that you may think it is useful. Some devices that are designed with more thought in mind may be upgradeable via a firmware upgrade but even that has its limits.

Drawing an analogy, if the computer only supports 640KB of memory, there's a limit on what it can do. Do not bash product companies unnecessary.

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