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Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence is the process of a product becoming obsolete and/or non-functional after a certain period or amount of use in a way that is planned or designed by the manufacturer. Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because the product fails and the consumer is under pressure to purchase again, whether from the same manufacturer (a replacement part or a newer model), or from a competitor which might also rely on planned obsolescence.
I've had the same no-frills cell phone for 6 years now. I just figured it was fickle and stupid consumers wanting the latest and greatest with all sorts of gadgets and pointless beeps and rings that kept unnecessary crap selling.