A friend of mine recently went to the Apple Genius store to put some more memory into two aging laptops. He wanted to buy brand new laptops for himself and his wife; but figured he could patch up the two old ones for his twin boys to do school-work on. Only to be told that his laptops were considered “vintage”. (Turns out, vintage is only a good thing when it comes to wine.) Vintage Apple products – or those that were manufactured 5-7 years ago – and obsolete products – those older than 7 years – are considered unserviceable by Apple.
And it’s not just Apple. Any smart-phone user today knows the struggle. Batteries that eventually stop taking charge. Continuous software updates that make it harder and harder for old devices to keep up. Plugs, switches and buttons that wear out. Even the fun case you store your phone in has to keep being upgraded because they keep changing the size of the phones with each consecutive model.
So what is planned obsolescence exactly?