Planned Obsolescence

A while ago I learned about something called planned obsolescence. Today I found another example of it.

I can’t fight my genetics: my dad is bald, my dad’s dad was bald, my mom’s dad was bold – you get the idea. The only logical thing (at least for me) is to trim the little I have left regularly, for which I bought a Philips QC5055 about three years ago.

The clipper seems well built, no doubt. But I do see now where they have made design choices that I would classify as planned obsolescence.

  1. The battery is not replaceable and it does barely last for one cut after three years. – I always need a wall outlet nearby.
  2. The plastic combs that you need to adjust the hair length break easily. It’s not that I have handled the clipper super carefully, but they should at least provide replacements for those fragile parts. – Which they did, but are listed as out of stock in all web shops I could find. They even explicitly exclude the combs from their warranty in newer products.

In the interest of prolonging the life of my hair clipper, I have already fixed the comb with the help of superglue twice. Meet my new best friend (aka superglue):

What I take from this:

  1. Always look for products that have replaceable batters, even better if they are AAs or some other standard form factor. (E.g., keep your hands of those electronic devices that have the battery per-installed and are sealed like vaults. And yes that does include your iThings)
  2. Always have some superglue and some scotch tape around. They might come in handy, save you some money and give you the sensation of empowerment which you may find in fixing the things around you!
  3. Try fixing things, even if you risk breaking them entirely (which I did with a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini 2 weeks ago, while trying to replace its display).

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