Planned Obsolescence

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What Does Planned Obsolescence Mean?

Planned obsolescence is a process of expiring, depleting or withdrawing a product at a specified date or time interval. This technique is used in different organizational domains to set the decommissioning time of a hardware, software, network or Internet product or service.

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Planned obsolescence is also known as built-in obsolescence or predefined obsolescence.

Techopedia Explains Planned Obsolescence

Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) typically implement planned obsolescence when defining the lifespan of a product. During this period, the underlying product is expected to perform at peak performance. After its lifespan, the product becomes outdated, non-useful or nonfunctional.

For example, a server may become incompatible or incapable after five years. To achieve optimal performance, replacing the server would be required. Thus, consumer organizations and individuals evaluate the fit-for-use duration of computing appliances and calculate and plan the date when withdrawal, or planned obsolescence, is required.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.