The end of planned obsolescence

“Planned obsolescence is a bad business and is not defensible.” It turns mass production approaches on its head.

Lasts Longer
[Via asymco]

I think Lisa Jackson’s presentation at the September 2018 iPhone launch event was perhaps the most interesting and most profound.

Lisa Jackson is Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. Previously, Ms. Jackson served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In her role at Apple she has been responsible for the transition to 100% renewable energy use by Apple across all its facilities.

This goal has been achieved and it’s a remarkable achievement deserving congratulations. But her presentation was noteworthy for setting a new goal.

She laid out a goal for Apple to eliminate the need to mine new materials from the Earth.

She said that to reach that goal Apple will have to do three things:

  1. Sourcing recycled or renewable materials for all products.
  2. Ensure that Apple products last as long as possible.
  3. After a long life of use, ensure that they are recycled properly.


Great explanation of how Apple works – it wants its products to work as long as possible. Sure, it makes a lot of money off the sale of the hardware, but it makes a ton of money off the eco-system. So having phones that can be sold to others as people upgrade means its ecosystem reach expands without having to spend money marketing the devices sold.

A win for Apple and a win for Planet Earth.