A new social problem?

Planned obsolescence is a practice linked to the phenomenon of overconsumption. With regard to mobiles, obsolescence takes various forms. What is the impact of this practice on the society? Does this represent a real problem?

What is planned obsolescence?

When a phone stops working, it’s not always because of technical reasons. The average lifespan of a phone battery is estimated at 18-24 months, but it is technically possible to reduce this modest period.

After a certain amount of time, your phone stops giving off signs of life or is no longer compatible with new applications and new programs: this is planned obsolescence. The manufacturer is intentionally reducing the life of the product.

Simply put, the manufacturer does not hesitate to voluntarily introduce a defect, a fragility, a program shutdown, a software incompatibility or a technical limitation in the product at the time of its design, in order to reduce its longevity.

What effect does it have on society?

Planned obsolescence is seen as the new scourge of modern society. The appearance of aesthetic obsolescence is a perfect example. This category of obsolescence is due to consumer psychology.

A symbol of a dysfunctional society, cell phones are a part of our daily lives. Consumers are often attracted by innovations, new functions, new uses and new technologies. Then we easily fall into the temptation of throwing away the old one to buy a new one, which is supposed to be more practical, more reliable, more efficient.

every year, More than 20 million phones are sold by manufacturers, According to a study, the average time to hold a phone is around 20 months. Some don’t even wait for the phone to die to replace it. Thus, older models often end up in the bottom of our drawers and add to the garbage figures associated with the use of mobile telephony.

It has also been shown that planned obsolescence has a certain social impact, particularly on the purchasing power of households who devote hundreds of euros per year, however, without getting the rest.

towards more responsible consumption

In practice, conscientious objectors are using new concepts to reduce cell phone overuse. Reselling or repairing rather than throwing away has become a motto for staunch defenders of the environment.

Internet sites aimed at mutual assistance between consumers are emerging. Smartphone repair startups like PhoneHub offer their services to people who want to repair a broken screen, replace spare parts (buttons, connectors, cameras, etc.).

The pleasure assimilated for consumption is no longer relevant. Even though only 20% of the population consumes About 80% of the planet’s resources, the best solution is still to make consumers responsible. However, this will not suffice, as modern sales techniques are determined to sell unnecessary items more often with fixed ends for economic reasons. As a result, a legislative response has proved necessary to stop this mechanism.

This technique, considered criminal by the MLA, can now lead to a jail term. The law on the energy transition restricts its practice to protect consumer rights and reduce the impact of over-consumption on the environment. The offense carries a sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros.

In short, the choice of a permanent solution for a smartphone depends to some extent on the consumers. Our social behavior is under question. Although it is not a question of depriving oneself, an alternative solution would be to live more simply. However, it’s never too late to get it right.



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