Obsolescence

From Academic Kids

Obsolescence is when a person or object is no longer wanted even though it is still in good working order.

Contents

Types of obsolescence

Technical or functional obsolescence

  • When a new, more functional product or technology supersedes the old (example: telegraph -> telephone)
  • The product becomes useless due to changes in other products. For example, buggy whips became obsolete when people started traveling in cars instead of buggies.
  • Spare parts are made expensive in order to make purchasing a new item a more attractive option.
  • Use of poor quality materials to shorten the product lifetime.
  • When component parts are no longer available to enable the manufacture of an item. Management of this type of obsolescence is required if long term product availability is important. See Obsolescence Management.

Planned obsolescence

When marketers deliberately introduce obsolescence into their product strategy. The marketer's objective is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases. In a highly competitive industry, this can be a risky strategy because consumers may buy from competing producers. There are also ethical considerations. See planned obsolescence.

Style obsolescence

  • When a product is no longer wanted because it is not in the 'style' that is popular at that particular time. Products that are stylistically obsolete are often not functionally obsolete. A common example is 'acid-wash' jeans.
  • Because of the "fashion cycle", stylistically obsolete products may eventually regain popularity and cease to be obsolete.

Postponement obsolescence

  • Technological improvements are not introduced even though they could be.

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