Lifespan of consumer electronics is getting shorter, study finds

(guardian-, 3 Mar 2015) Investigation of built-in obsolescence for German environment agency finds percentage of products sold to replace defective ones has increased remarkably, reports ENDS Europe.

Electronic product life spans are getting shorter, an investigation of built-in obsolescence for the German environment agency has indicated.

But consumers’ desire to replace products such as flat-screen TVs with newer model is also a major factor in what the research identified as increasingly wasteful consumption of electronic goods.

The environment agency asked Öko-Institut researchers to examine consumers’ reasons for replacing electrical and electronic appliances with a view to establishing whether manufacturers are purposefully shortening product life spans to prop up sales, a phenomenon known as built-in obsolescence.

The researchers did not draw a firm conclusion on built-in obsolescence but noted that the proportion of all units sold to replace a defective appliance grew from 3.5% in 2004 to 8.3% in 2012, in what they deemed a “remarkable” increase.

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guardian-, 3 Mar 2015: Lifespan of consumer electronics is getting shorter, study finds