Apple and other industrial design companies have often been accused of planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which a company will knowingly release a product with a limited lifespan so that it inevitably becomes obsolete. This puts pressure on the consumer to constantly purchase the company’s newest product.
Apple is accused of planned obsolescence because they keep such tight control over their products, discouraging consumers to modify, upgrade or even repair them. In fact, they purposely make it very difficult to do so. It would make sense then that Apple is doing this so that when their products become obsolete or broken, the consumer has no choice to purchase a new one. However, I’d like to suggest another reason why Apple keeps their products so tightly closed.
It’s not that they don’t want you modifying or upgrading their product solely because they want to sell you a new one, but more so because they are incredibly proud of their products. Much like a chef doesn’t want you to put salt on their dish, they believe their product is flawless as it comes.
More specifically, Apple doesn’t want their products to be tainted by third-party hardware or software (that’s why the App store approval process is quite substantial). If they weren’t as diligent as they are there would be potential for their brand and products to diminish into the world of mass computing. Apple believes that their products are not just a computer, not just a tablet and not just a phone. These are Apple products and they’re different. Apple doesn’t make repairing their products easy or affordable, not because they want you to buy a new one (though I’m sure they’d love it if you did), but because they don’t believe you will have to. Repairs are considered an edge case in which most consumers won’t ever have to deal with. But is that really the case? or is Apple being naive? Consumers can decide for themselves.
Understand that Apple makes a very specific type of product for a specific demographic. If you’re the type of person who likes to get their hands dirty and deconstruct a product to learn how it’s made then an Apple product just isn’t for you. Apple products aren’t your average computers, they’re Apple products. I guess you could say it’s a case of Apples and Oranges.