Planned Obsolescence

1788 Words Oct 12th, 2012 8 Pages
Planned obsolescence is the industrial tactic of designing, manufacturing, and distributing a product with an inadequate lifespan, as so it will become obsolete specifically to force the consumers to buy the latest generation of said product. These products are put into practice before the next generation is even fully functional; companies like Apple are most famous for doing this. Planned obsolescence has been in use since the beginning of the Great Depression and for the past eighty years the ethical grounds of companies and the reliability of their products has been argued. As 20th century economist Victor Lebow says in his article on consumer capitalism, Price Competition in 1955:
Our enormously productive economy demands that we
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So that leads to the question, can’t one just take the color cartridge out? Unfortunately not, in order for the printers to function properly all the cartridges must be in place even if one cartridge is out of ink completely it still has to be left in. In the long run people who print enough black and white will pay the cost when the colored ink needs replacement. (Castle Ink Cartridges & The Daily Green) In some cases notification may be combined with the deliberate disabling of a product to prevent it from working. Printer manufacturers like EPSON are infamous for employing proprietary smart chips in their ink cartridges to prevent them from being used after a certain threshold even though the cartridge still contains usable ink. Some companies have developed a version of obsolescence in which the product reports to the owner on when it is time to buy a replacement. Pool water filters are known to display replacement messages at predetermined times and some disposable razors have color changing strips to mark blade dullness. Whether consumers are notified before the product has truly depreciated or the product simply deteriorates more quickly than is required, planned obsolescence is the result. (New Vision Ireland) Systemic obsolescence is the intentional effort to make a product obsolete by altering the structure in which it is used in such a way that it makes its continued use
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