Planned Obsolescence

Last Updated: December 18, 2012

Definition - 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.

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 After its lifespan, the product becomes outdated, non-useful or nonfunctional.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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