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
    Sanguine Dream, 2 Jan 2007 @ 10:53am

    Re: how about this...


    I wonder why companies don't move towards a subscription model some hardware (especially hardware that gets updated often like cell phones). For X dollars per year you have access to a "family" of products. As the next model in a family comes out, you have the option of getting it or not.

    As long as companies know they can make lots of money on people that will replace their hardware when the next model releases in six months (even if it doesn't break) they'll never go with your idea there.

    I usually just figure out what I need and then buy a few steps behind what is the current top of the line. For example I plan on building a PC in the next month or so. I'm not going for the all out turbo charged latest model processor. In fact I'm fine with my little 600mhz Pentium 3 (and 8mb intergrated video card)...except for gaming which is what I want to get into. My plan is to buy a motherboard that will allow for mulitiple processor upgrades in the future.

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