Product Improvements Outpacing Even Planned Obsolescence?

from the perhaps dept

We've written a few times in the past about how your memory isn't fooling if you if you think today's gadgets and gizmos are built with lower quality than consumer electronics from years gone by. Part of the reason is simply planned obsolescence, where companies are innovating so much they expect you to simply upgrade when the last one you bought breaks. However, a new article suggests that even planned obsolescence is a thing of the past as the pace of innovation is such that people feel compelled to upgrade relatively quickly, not waiting for their gadgets to break. The main focus of the article, though, is how this presents quite the conundrum for consumer electronics buyers, who always know that what they buy today will be a lot cheaper tomorrow. Of course, it's not really clear how that's any different than how things used to be. People have always struggled with the timing on when to buy computers or consumer electronics, knowing that there was always a next generation coming, and today's products would just get cheaper. However, if you wait until the next generation is released, you should realize that you're only going to be tempted to buy the newer, fancier one anyway.
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  1. identicon
    BillDivX, 2 Jan 2007 @ 10:12am

    I have special needs...

    I am a software engineer by profession, and an audio engineer by hobby, so quite often I find myself in need of heavy duty, latest, greatest new things. But even then, I only buy the latest gear when i absolutely require it.

    I just bought a brand new top of the line AMD dual-core, which is of course already out-dated 6 months later, but it WAS top of the line at the time. The only reason I did that was because I needed all the horsepower I could get for a mixing system.

    But, sitting right next to it is my browsing and gaming's a good 5 years old. Even when I buy brand new stuff, I squeeze all the time I can get out of it.

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