Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dislike – The Missing Button

Thanks to social media we have become conditioned to hit the like button.  I propose introducing a dislike button.  For example: I dislike planned obsolescence. 

Read On:
Last month I went to my local AT&T store to replace my HTC Inspire which I bought in May 2011.  Sometime back in September of 2012 it began to act squirrelly.  I learned that I was eligible for an upgrade in December even with six months left on my two year contract.  I spent valued holiday time conducting research plus reaching out to my tech guru for a recommendation.  Conclusion: I was going to buy the Samsung Galaxy S III which I knew in addition to its capabilities had a better screen than my current TV.  Sweet!  Only $199.99, but AT&T requires a one-time upgrade fee of $36.  Remember my old phone had been on its death bed in less than two years; 16 months to be exact.  Throw in a DuraShell Case since the back of the Galaxy S III is as thin as a sheet of Kleenex.  Voila!  $242.98 later, I was back operating in our Mobile First World.

Oh yes, while I was in the store, one individual bought a Blue Tooth (an option I passed on) and another traded their Android in for a new iPhone5.  If my math is correct, AT&T grossed $600 in the thirty minutes I was replacing my HTC Inspire designed for planned obsolescence.

Beware of planned obsolescence!!  


  1. ...and you're not even considering the outrageous data plan profits. My family has four smartphones, with four data plans. Our monthly bill is over $200/month...$2400 per year to AT&T (not including the cost of the subsidized phones originally.) Ain't technology grand?

  2. GOSH I've thought the same thing. How cool would a 'dislike' button be; but, more important, how many companies would need to delete their Facebook pages because of it! :)

  3. +1

    How are you liking the phone? I held my OG Droid classic in my hand the other day and was appalled by the weight, small screen and overall bulkiness of the device. It ended up in the garbage.

  4. And to think that 9 year old kids are running around with these in their hands. I was eating out the other night and a family came in with 3 children. I would guess the ages at 10,6 and 2. The two oldest were watching movies on their IPhones at the table! That is an entirely different subject however for another time. Enjoy your phone.

  5. I've noticed large appliances taking a page from electronics manufacturers as well. My washing machine throws a code and gets a new motherboard almost annually, and I recently had to learn how to solder (thanks, YouTube) to repair the controller board on my 3-year-old dishwasher. Have you checked out the new refrigerators that run the Android OS right next to the icemaker? Do we really need turn-by-turn navigation to find the ketchup? Next year's models should feature a convenient "upgrade mode" where they order their own replacement and drive themselves to a local landfill.

  6. great post and so true! What happened to a phone that could get through the day without having to recharge?

  7. Interesting thread of comments. Thank you everyone.

  8. This topic is exceptionally broad, to be sure. I'm following GE's #industrialinternet initiative, and the connected world of machines is Immelt's vision for the next quantum value surge from the internet.

    But back to phones..., I don't mind the planned obsolescence - I got over the pain of owning "solid" that my grandparents taught me (they lived through the depression, and had the same hammer, screwdriver, and singer sewing machine for decades - why? they were "built to last"... and I shifted to "throw it out and replacement" mentality of the current generation. It was the Palm, Palm II, Palm III and Palm IIIc that educated me that nothing is "built to last" anymore (sorry Jim Collins, or The Grateful Dead..., you pick!).

    For phones, the one thing that I wish the carriers would do for us "loyal" customers, is keep us informed and reward us with new phones, lower rate plans, and such. That's the rub, you go in, 'cause you have a problem, and find out that a) you could have got a new phone, for free, a year ago, and 2) the new 2 year agreement you could have signed up for back a year ago with the new phone you earned, is less expensive.

    The carriers have no interest (why would they?) in building loyalty like this, by rewarding their customers as Starbucks proactively does.

    I've often wondered if Amazon, Google, or some other disruptively innovative company could just change mobile entirely, from the ground up.