Why are Electronics Becoming Obsolete Faster ?
Doesn’t it seem that electronics now rapidly become obsolete when compared to their older counterparts? A generation ago one might expect a major electronic appliance to last for many years, even decades, but modern electronics seem to get thrown on the trash heap in a short period of time. Why is this?
Firstly, in any industry with a substantial demand and a high level of competition products are inevitably going to improve very quickly. The electronics industry is a perfect example of this. Whereas an industry that is monopolized becomes slow and stagnant, in the modern electronics industry there are no monopolized brands or concepts. Instead, you have dozens of highly competitive firms competing with each other to enhance their products and make the most money. Innovation is lightning fast.
Furthermore, the demand is so substantial that investment in this industry is widespread and consistent. In other words, consumers wants the newest, fastest, and best electronics, so companies are constantly putting a great deal of emphasis on the production of these items that help them stay ahead of the curve. This makes previous flagship models quickly seem obsolete to end users.
The other reason why electronics are becoming obsolete much more quickly is practicality. Many electronic devices have so many uses and applications that the latest versions are essential to our daily life. Electronics might have previously been a luxury or entertainment device, but now it is a virtual requirement to one’s business email, or be able to communicate with others wherever you are, for example.
We have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Electronics are such an essential part of our world that they will play a very important role in our future. Consider connectivity alone. The internet has caused incredible globalization and cultural diffusion in its short existence. Just a few decades ago you couldn’t click a few buttons and see a live stream from a breaking news event in Syria, for example. Today, this is a common practice.
There are multiple TVs in practically every household in America, and every year seemingly evergreen appliances like air conditioners, fridges, washing machines, lights consistently become more efficient and reliable as manufacturers fiercely compete. It’s the evolution of an industry that we depend on for everything. If we can cut down on production costs and slash your energy bill by 15% with a new air conditioner why shouldn’t you upgrade?
Technology and electronics are improving every day because this is what the human race wants, and improvements to our lives should be embraced. We have technology and electronics in our homes, our cars, our schools, at our jobs. We are connected by it. We are depend on it. This is why electronics become obsolete very quickly.
Effects on the Environment
Of course, this has a staggering effect on the amount of electronics that find their way to landfills and tips as people throw out their old devices. It is up to the consumer to ensure that their obsolete equipment is disposed of responsibly, lessening the damage and waste caused by our world of rapidly changing electronics.