Electronic devices have short lifes by human inability or ability of man to force to buy new?
I think a lot of electronics are designed to have short life spans, but mostly technology changes so rapidly that by the time you buy something it's already outdated! I think some of that is on purpose, but it's also the nature of the tech industry.
Electronics are made to be disposable, sadly enough. Electronics manufacturers learned that if your TV lasts 30 years, their chances of repeat revenue from you are very low. Since there is a chance for repeats, the manufacturers that do this offer their goods at a low enough price, or the replacement parts you'd need at such a high price, that it makes a lot more sense to buy a new unit rather than fix it. Me, I'm perfectly happy with my 27-year-old analog TV, but if I didn't live with an electronics tech then it would have to be replaced by one that's designed to only last 2-3 years.
Planned obsolescence is the operative term here. Products are intentionally made to not last forever with the exception of very few. Free enterprise and competition, however, keep forcing companies to improve to meet any competitive threats. Look how automobiles improved between 1970 and 2000. Many manufacturers would be making the same substandard products had not competition forced their hand
I am not sure if electronic devices really have short lives. I would guarantee if I was to take my original Atari out of the closet and plug it in it would work like the day I got it.
I believe we are so impatient that as technology gets faster, we become more impatient. I cannot count how many times I get angry at my computer because it is not moving as fast as I am thinking. It is working properly but would definitely get rid of it when something faster comes along.
I agree with garyyoungberg that in spite of planned obsolescence, competition is making electronic products last longer.
Whenever I took my 2003 Toshiba satellite laptop to a cybercafe, everyone looks at me as if I dropped down from somewhere else.
Some products are really good. I think computer accessories, like batteries etc, are the real culprits here.
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