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The Apple Plan: is early device replacement the name of the game?

Finding out that the device you spent a few hundred dollars on was engineered from the start to fail prematurely is not exactly the news one wants to hear. Unfortunately, this exact type of thing, commonly referred to as “planned obsolescence” is by no means new to the consumer market.

Was your Apple device made to break?

Many companies are guilty of intentionally implementing faulty product construction methods in an attempt to increase sales. When something breaks, most people would rather buy a replacement instead of repairing the original, since this tends to be the quicker and more convenient method these days.

One brand that has been put in the limelight in recent years concerning supposed planned early device failure is Apple. This might surprise many people, given the excellent reputation the company has for producing some of the finest and most popular consumer electronics.

No one can deny the allure of the sleek iPhone; the newest 6 series had record-breaking sales on its launch date if that says anything about Apple’s command of the market. Keep in mind that planned obsolescence can occur in many ways, and is not always unethical as some would believe.

The road less traveled: the challenge of obsolescent designs

In no way is Apple installing defective parts (at least knowingly) or using substandard materials as a means to thwart customers into making more purchases than they would normally do. However, the use of ultra-miniature, tamper-resistant screws can be considered a variation of this age-old tactic, one which has been used by businesses in a vast array of industries.

Think of it this way; if your iPhone or iPad were to become damaged, and you had no way of replacing the broken parts because of the screws holding the device together, than you ultimately have no choice but to toss it to the curb in exchange for a replacement. On the other hand, if Apple were to swap out these screws (other obsolescence-style methods are in place as well) with ones designed to be interchangeable, this would ultimately make the DIY repair process much easier.

Chances are, a large number of people would very well attempt these projects, since it would be saving them money. Is this in Apple’s best interest financially? Perhaps not, but something must be said of the fact that even if obsolescence was indeed integrated into the company’s product designs, why do consumers continue to purchase its products. It is difficult balance to strike, yet an intriguing question nonetheless!

Sources:

http://www.cultofmac.com/77814/is-apple-guilty-of-planned-obsolescence/

http://osxdaily.com/2014/08/06/iphone-applecare-service-summary-free-additional-repairs-sometimes/