Is Long Lifetime Designated?

02 Oct 2012
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Mobile phones are probably a good example for a very short lifetime. Next to a few exceptions, like the Nokia 3310, which was so robust that it would have probably survived the apocalypse, most mobile phones have a very short lifespan. They break very fast and through new innovations almost every year, they run out of fashion. The question is, do people even want mobile phones with a long lifetime?

The Apple™ hype for example shows that people don’t necessarily want long lasting mobile phones. As soon as the latest version of the iPhone is released, the old one is replaced immediately. Some people have even camped in front of the stores to be the first ones to have the latest iPhone. The market demanded for new models every year. In addition, the design of the iPhone shows, that it isn’t built to last. Hermetically sealed like a submarine, it is almost impossible to exchange expendable parts like the battery, which run weak after at least a year. Even when returned within the valid guarantee time it won’t be repaired for free. Instead, you will get a completely new one.

This rapid change of mobile phones goes hand in hand with new innovations, which is generally desirable but most people seem to forget that nature suffers badly from this. Furthermore, the trend doesn’t seem to get any better, but nature isn’t the only one suffering from this.

Many long lasting products like airplanes and spaceshuttles use same parts, e.g. microchips, that are also used in mobile phones. Due to demand, manufacturers produce these chips only as long as they are needed by the majority of their customers. Of course, the majority are companies that produce mobile phones, TVs etc., which only need those chips for a short time. Airplanes for example, are used way longer than mobile phones. That means, manufacturers have trouble buying such microchips over a long time and are often forced to execute huge investments to do so.

To avoid exactly this, companies have to run a comprehensive obsolescence management systems which helps them keeping an eye on their required parts, stock levels, COTS-availability (Commercial-of-the-shelf) and repair rates.

Last modified on Monday, 15 October 2012 17:49
Andreas Busch

Andreas Busch has finished his high school diploma and is going to attend college with the intend to study business and engineering. As an intern at ABSC GmbH, he gained insights in the field of obsolescence, its impacts and comprehensive structures of obsolescence management.

As an innovative full service system integrator in the fields of engineering services and IT services ABSC GmbH supports many international companies along their development and operation of business processes with complete solutions since over 20 years. ABSC creates customized and innovative obsolescence management concepts and provides competent, reliable and sustainable optimization of processes, projects and infrastructure. ABSC supports businesses as long-term partner for the definition and implementation of customer specific complete obsolescence management solutions and round off their range of services with specific seminars and events.


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