Maytag did an excellent branding job. But the Maytags of today will not be like the ones of 10 years ago because all washing machines today are designed for high efficiency, which translates into various problems with built in sensors taking over and more delicate parts than the earlier, merchanical models. My mother had a washing machine for over 30 years, and I'm using it now. Its dial broke off, but as the whole thing is manual, I can move it by grasping it by hand or with pliers. I was warned from an appliance store that I could, at best, expect a machine to last 5 or 6 years today and that it pays to buy the service contract because the electronic parts do lead to break downs withinin that time frame.
As Dave pointed out, the difference is that we don't expect electronics to last more than 3-5 years. Even if they still funciton, the newer ones on the market, would likely be better and even cheaper. But that does not hold for major household appliances. I've hear that refigerators also used to last nearly forever. We've already had to replace the one in this house. The built in ice maker and water dispenser caused leaks and other problems. With appliances, keeping it simple usually keeps it working longer, but with electronics people want more bells and whistles.
It definitely seems like the latest in electronics (laptops, printers, etc.) seem to have much shorter life spans than the equipment of yesteryear.
@Dave, I agree with you. But people still prefer products which are durable. In India one of the reasons why people preferred buying Nokia over others is Nokia provides very good customer service, they had installed Nokia care centre in each city. So service provided by the company definitely influences the customer preference.
It definitely seems like the latest in electronics (laptops, printers, etc.) seem to have much shorter life spans than the equipment of yesteryear.The unfortunate part is that I have come to expect this.
I have an almost one tear old scanner/fax/printer combo machine in a corner of my office today. It is working but the paper feeder is chewing my paper rather than feeding it through. Since I didn't buy extra warranty for it, the machine is being discarded. I shouldn't have to change it but it was a lot cheaper to pick up a brand new one at Best Buy for one hundred dollars than try to repair the old one.
The repair shops in the area have mostly closed down and the Geek Squad at Best Buy tell me I have to pay a fixed fee even before they would look at it. The fee would cover three equipment -- for one year. It's a Canon that replaced another printer from HP. The new one is made by HP and I bet it will be gone within another couple of years. This time, though, I got the extra warranty -- but it only covers the next two years. Something is wrong with this picture.
Moreover, I want to add some facts and my experience in the field of mobile service and in service generally. It is a fact that service was and is undervalue part inside a company. A lot of managers behave to the service departments as something foreign. This devaluation has to do also with the employees who work in the department(if exists) that means lower income wages for them.
Most of the managers give all the attention in the sales, and how many units are sold. In this part I want to add the fact that many manufacture, they don't have its own service centers, and they make contracts with authorized service centers. Even if the service center applies to all the regulations as you can understand it have different goals. For instance, it cares about how many mobile phones will claim as repaired from the mother company and doesn't care if has many re repairs. That sounds great for the authorized center but not for the customer and for the mother company.
I largely agree with you, but just to be contrarian: there's a big difference between cell phones and washers. A washer from 10 years ago still does what you need it to do and you can probably go out and still buy a washer with the exact same features.
On the other hand, I'm not even sure if a cell phone from 10 years ago would be able to make calls at this point. And it certainly wouldn't have very many of the common, modern-day features you'd expect. Plus the battery life would be terrible and you'd hate lugging it around.
It is indeed true that the lifecycle of electronics tends to be shorter than say, appliances. But a lot of that is due to the fact that there's just far faster advancement and innovation. A dishwasher from 1980 might be slow, but it'll still be compatible with your dishes. A computer from 1980 is near-useless at this point.
And in the case of Apple, they're constantly coming out with cooler products. On the other hand, I did like this article recently that shows that the original iPod still works and is functional with iTunes!
This is a blog after my own heart. I had the same experience with my laptop and even the Geek Squad couldn't help--they had to send it back to the vendor. If the thing hadn't been covered by a warrantee, I might have just scrapped it. (Which is what I did the second time it crashed within an 18 month period.) That vendor has lost my business. I am definitley revisiting my strategy of buying from the big box stores--Maytag is the exception in white goods--GE has a repair service but I've seen them more times in five years than I have in the prior 10 with a Sears Kenmore. Apple and Sears are among the dying breed of companies that have their own retail outlets and haven't outsourced their service to an 800 number.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.