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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Technology and the trash can

There's a reason your iPod doesn't last a dozen years. It's not just the workmanship...
Electronics are being discarded almost as fast as they’re being made. And the innovators are largely to blame for that. While the effective lifespan of a new computer should be, in a sane world, a decade or more, realistically you’ve got a dinosaur if it’s been sitting on your desk longer than a couple of years. And our tax laws encourage this.


Because the innovators know that they need you coming back every few years to keep those coffers overflowing. If you’re visiting the Apple Store only once in a decade, then there might not be an Apple Store at all.

Read more on the role of technology and "planned obsolescence" in economic growth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The pollution aspect is something that could be regulated, but most of that article is just whining about people's buying habits. I happen to agree with him, but that doesn't make his point valid! It's hardly a company's fault that its old product is "passe": look to the customer who made an unwise purchase there.

As for planned obsolescence, that's somewhat debatable. I plan on keeping my ipod running for a long time, I'm not upgrading my computer to vista, I do what I can to keep my car in good shape... and I establish reasonable expectations for their lifespans at the time of purchase! If they don't live up to those expectations, that company will never see my business again.