Our devices have an expiration date, and will most likely die in the next few years. Geoffrey A. Fowler, a columnist for the Washington Post, analyzed the useful life of 14 electronic devices and confirmed that most would not last more than 4 years.
Why do our electronic devices ‘expire’? This is a question that we must ask large companies, such as Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon, among others, that manufacture devices with batteries that work for a short period of time.
Kyle Wiesthe CEO of a tech repair community, said that “almost every device these days has a battery that is going to wear out and it’s like a integrated time bomb”. Fowler explained that this is a brand strategy so that we consume more products every time one of them is damaged, something that causes serious problems for our pockets and for the environment.
Therefore, the author contacted technology companies and experts in electronic devices to determine the expiration date of 14 popular gadgets. These are some of the ones he found:
- Airpods ($179): Apple does not replace the batteries in its wireless headphones, they only offer a new pair for sale. Its estimated useful life is 2 years.
- Apple Iphone: Its battery life is 3 years, but it can be replaced at official stores for $69.
- Macbook Air: Apple’s laptop is designed to last 4 years, after which the company offers a battery replacement service for $129.
- Switch: The popular Nintendo video game has a battery that only works for 3 years, after which it begins to have system failures.
According to Fowler, one of the ways to deal with companies that sell electronic devices designed to expire soon is by requiring them to information about the capacity of your batteryin addition to allowing users to repair their devices.
“It means that even if a battery is sealed inside a product, the manufacturer must sell replacement parts and share instructions on how to repair it,” says Fowler. “We have to fight the marketing machine that makes an annual cycle of product updates feel like more than just pure consumerism.”
“It’s good that technology is now more accessible. But if we can’t just replace the battery in something we own, does it really belong to us?” he concludes.