The Planned Obsolescence of Tech

Manal al-Sharif and Reinhardt Sosin discuss the concept of Planned Obsolescence of Tech. Big Tech companies use a whole host of design and marketing tactics to get you to throw away your smart devices long before it’s necessary. Ever had a product break within weeks of the warranty expiring? What about that iPhone that slowed down after a software update? If you’ve ever walked away from a repair shop feeling frustrated after being told the cost to repair your device is close to the value of a new one, this episode is for you. Learn about the history of Planned Obsolescence, the detrimental impacts this concept has on our planet, and the ecocide, iFixit and the Right to Repair activists fighting Big Tech to take back our rights as consumers and protect our planet. Welcome to Episode Two of the Tech4Evil Podcast.

2:40 – What is planned obsolescence? 

3:05 – The four types of planned obsolescence of tech

13:50 – Why are tech companies designing devices to break?

16:08 – The economical and environmental impact of planned obsolescence of tech

21:45 – A brief history of planned obsolescence

25:12 – Repair Cafes

25:13 – I Fix It or Ifixit.com

27:24 – The Right to Repair movement

29:09 – The Ecocide Law

30:06 – The US, Europe and Australia  supporting the Right to Repair

33:02- Steve Wozniak support

35:15 – A call to action

We want to hear from you. Tune in, and tell us what you think. Email us at contact@tech4evil.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tech4evil. And if you've spotted Big Tech going too far, use the hashtag #EvilSpotter and mention @Tech4Evil and share your story.

Music and media production by Reinhardt Sosin. Research and content by Manal al-Sharif and Margaret Coomer.

Sources for this episode include repaircafe.org , ifixit.com, the Atalntic's article on the global cost of e-waste, CHOICE's article "5 Ways to Take Control of Your Consumer Rights" and the Guardian's artcile on the world's largest e-waste dump and many more sources mentioned in our blog.

2 comments on “The Planned Obsolescence of Tech

  1. Ken Rubeli says:

    Highest commendation for your presentation and message in this podcast. A powerful influence in my life was Vance Packard. As a high school student easily distracted from my studies I was magnetically drawn to Packard’s books The Hidden Persuaders, The Status Seekers and The Waste Makers. This was 1960s perceptiveness that has shaped my long and mostly second-hand-possessions life! Your analysis of our present consumption-focused society is a succinct 2020s re-assessment of all that motivated Packard to cry out at the world he was living in. Books or a podcast – my sadness is that your wisdom or Packard’s has so little power over the forces of advertising, peer pressure and the glorious dismissiveness of simply throwing things away – forces more pervasive today than ever before. Now, can I get my grandchildren to direct their iPhones and earpods to engagement with all you have to say here? Thank you!

  2. Owen Cowie says:

    Nice work guys 👍

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