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Scheduled obsolescence: the mobile market and its perverse side

Its weird name, but most techies know it. Programmed obsolescence is the policy of creating products with an artificially limited shelf life, so that after a while the customer feels forced to buy a new copy. This is a simple and clear selling strategy, shortening the replacement range of a commodity as much as possible. In this article, we will show how this phenomenon works in the Android world, and how to get rid of its effects.

The cellphone market is perhaps one of the best examples of the shameless employment of programmed obsolescence. On the one hand, manufacturers launch new devices at least annually (some semiannually), implying that the previous generation is already somehow outdated. On the other hand, companies clearly fail to incorporate improvements and optimizations into a model to gradually integrate them, year by year, into successor devices, always maintaining the innovative label in the latest release.

Moto G 2015 vs Moto G 2014 comparison 1 13
Moto G 2015 (left) and Moto G 2014 (right) – few differences. / ANDROIDPIT

In addition, with each new distribution of software, a bunch of devices that aren't even 3 years old are ruthlessly excluded from the OS update, forming a real army of good devices, but running on an outdated operating system.

Finally, programmed obsolescence is not only harmful to the consumer, it does tremendous harm to the environment. Because of it and the artificially created need to always have the latest model, tons of electronic waste are produced every year.

What to do against scheduled obsolescence?

The first measure inform yourself! Don't get carried away by the commercials offering a world of news; read tests of new devices, watch videos with reviews, learn all their functions, etc. This is the only way to find out if a truly innovative device is worth replacing your current device. As stated above, many successors bring minimal changes to the originals.

If the problem is software and your device has been dropped by the manufacturer, custom ROM on it! Most older devices are perfectly capable of running at least some of the recent functions, and you find versions tailored for each device in the fascinating and (yet) independent world of ROMs. With CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android and company firmware, your device can come to life again!

Android KitKat custom roms
Try installing a custom ROM on your device before buying a new one. / Google, CyanogenMod, AOKP, Paranoid Android, Omni / ANDROIDPIT

What do you think about this theme? More cell phone exchange than necessary?

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