The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 March 2005

It's dead, Jim

I pulled into the Batteries Plus store on the way home today in search of a replacement 3.6-volt for my cell phone. As the guy was installing the new one, he offered this bit of pragmatism:

There's a one-year warranty on this, which is about as long as the ones that come in the phones will last.

He looked at the front of my phone, which dates back to the Old Silurian times, and added:

At least, in the new phones. They last just about as long as the contracts.

Now we all learned about planned obsolescence back in the 1950s, when Detroit figured out that annual automobile model changes were good for the bottom line. And really, I can't say I'm too surprised at this, since rather a lot of wireless customers say goodbye after their contracts are up and go to someone else who might have an entirely different technology and almost certainly has an entirely different phone to vend.

Just for the sake of argument, this is the first battery I've bought for this phone since it was new — in May 2001. And technically, the old battery wasn't quite dead; it just wouldn't hold a charge beyond the two-bar (of four) level.

Posted at 5:35 PM to Family Joules


What kind and model phone is it? :) Most of the time it isn't only the battery that gives out by the end of the contract. It's the phone itself :( Plus isn't it interesting that a battery costs about as much as an upgrade?

Posted by: ms7168 at 10:51 AM on 16 March 2005

Nokia 3390. (The phone works just fine, despite getting soccer-ball treatment from its oafish owner.)

Posted by: CGHill at 11:09 AM on 16 March 2005