jueves, 27 de diciembre de 2018

On Planned Cellphone Obsolescence

R.I.P. Blu Studio M HD... Was your death intended?
About a month ago, my Blu Studio M HD cellphone started misbehaving; it fired up apps at random and turned off by itself.  Eventually, it was more difficult to start it again.  Today, it barely refused to come back after I turned it on seven times.  I checked how old the phone was.  Interestingly, it was almost two years old.


The suspicion was inevitable: is this a confirmation that cellphones are somehow built to fail when the two-year lifespan is reached?

I know that most experts agree on the fact that it is not that the electronic components of the phone are designed to fail, but it is the battery that dies and causes the problems. That might be true, for the problems with my phone started when I noticed that the battery ran out of juice a lot faster than usual.

However, there is a detail: I specifically bought this kind of cellphone because of its manually-replaceable battery, which, in theory, extends the lifespan of the device. Except that today it is practically impossible to find a spare battery.

The lack of spares suggests that the industry is actually not interested on "repairability."

Buying a replacement for my dying phone in December is not an easy task: I only want a fairly cheap phone that can run my jogging apps and where I can check my email.

But most phones come with more powerful processors and more memory, all of which makes phones over-qualified for my personal use and, above all, more expensive.

Predictably, the  new models cannot use the same batteries from previous models because the former require more power and, let us not forget, most phones today come with a non-removable battery.

Say what you may, but I do believe in cellphone planned obsolescence.

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