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Planned Obsolescence

Planned Obsolescence policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of nondurable materials.

Q&A About Planned Obsolescence


What does obsolescence refer to?

Obsolescence refers to the state of being which occurs when an object, service or practice is no longer maintained, required or degraded even though it may still be in good working order.

How do you know when something has been designed with planned obsolescence?

When something becomes unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.

When does obsolescence typically happen?

Obsolesce typically happens before something becomes obsolete (disused or discarded) and/or antiquated (old-fashioned).

What causes something to become disused or discarded?

Something becomes disused or discarded when it's replaced by something else that performs better than what was previously used; this could be due to technological

What causes something to become obsolete?

Something becomes obsolete when it's replaced by something else that performs better than what was previously used; this could be due to technological advances or changes in consumer tastes and preferences.

What does planned obsolescence refer to?

Planned Obsolescence refers to designing a product with an artificially limited useful life.

How do new components affect obsolescence?

New components are developed and launched on the market with increasing speed. The result is a dramatic change in production methods of all components and their market availability. A growing industry sector is facing issues where life cycles of products no longer fit together with life cycles of required components. This issue is known as obsolescence, the status given to a part when it is no longer available from its original manufacturer. The problem of obsolescence is most prevalent for electronics technology wherein the procurement lifetimes for various parts do not match up with product lifetimes, creating an environment where there are too many obsolete parts floating around in supply chains due to lack of demand for them anymore (see also EOL).

Why would someone design something with planned obsolescence?

To encourage customers to buy new products frequently even if the old ones are still in good condition.

What are two ways that obsolescence can occur?

Obsolescence can occur because a replacement has become available that has more advantages compared to the disadvantages incurred by maintaining or repairing the original; and/or because of a gradual decline in popularity.