Countering planned obsolescence through certification17. May 2018 Published by Sina Lenz
Gigaset E630HX awarded HTV-Life® mark of excellence 002-028
The E630HX, the most rugged model from Gigaset’s portfolio of DECT cordless phones, has been awarded the HTV-Life® mark of excellence, guaranteeing that planned obsolescence has not been built into it. The company is thus continuing its strategy of having its entire phone portfolio certified externally and so, as one of the few companies in Germany, proving its products’ high quality even more clearly to consumers.
Planned obsolescence may not be a term that is familiar to everyone, but everyone knows what it entails: A product unexpectedly stops working properly far too early. Planned obsolescence denotes a policy where “companies deliberately reduce their product’s useful life.” That is not only a dubious course of action, but also lastingly shakes consumers’ trust in the brand and its products. It also hits customers in the pocket and is a burden on the environment, since every new device that has to be purchased too early means that an old one has to be thrown away too early.
A study by the German Federal Environment Agency also proves that many products have too short a useful life. Although the study could not prove that individual manufacturers deliberately planned obsolescence into their products, the President of the Agency, Maria Krautzberger, nevertheless criticized the fact that many appliances have too short a useful life. She also points to the “[…] lack of transparency for consumers.” Despite these plain words, only few manufacturers have so far adopted a policy of having their products certified externally.
No planned obsolescence at Gigaset
“We regard external certification of our DECT cordless phone portfolio as a chance to demonstrate the high standards of quality we demand of our products to customers,” says Anne Dickau, Head of Voice Products at Gigaset. “Our mission is to take a clear stance against planned obsolescence with our premium products and production in Bocholt, Germany.”
That is why Gigaset has worked with HTV-GmbH since 2013. Numerous products have already been certified under this collaboration. Award of the HTV-Life® mark of excellence to the Gigaset E630HX means that a further universal handset for operation on DECT and CAT-iq 2.0 routers has captured this seal of quality.
HTV-Life® mark of excellence for the Gigaset E630HX
The Gigaset E630HX has been developed for tough everyday situations. The rugged cordless phone is water-proof, dust-resistant and especially shock-proof in accordance with protection class IP65. The device also has a vibrating alarm and spot LED (which can be used to visually indicate callers or as a torch), a “Profile” button to adapt the acoustics to the environment, and a side button as a simple means of adjusting the volume. A large, illuminated 1.8” TFT color display, a phone book with a search function and holding up to 200 entries, and a long talk time and standby time of up to 14 and 310 hours respectively are also vital features in ensuring the device is convenient to use.
HTV has existed since 1986 and is an independent test house for conducting electronic, mechanical and chemical analyses, as well as examining the service life of products. The company currently has around 220 employees. HTV’s expertise is highly sought in studies, such as by federal offices, as well as for expert reports or qualifications. As a specialist in long-term conservation of components, HTV has very great competence in testing and analyzing mechanisms that cause products to age or fail and in determining the useful life of components. More information on the HTV mark of excellence can be found on the official Gigaset homepage.
What is planned obsolescence?
Planned obsolescence denotes deliberately incorporating weaknesses into a product, developing solutions with a shorter durability, using raw materials of lower quality, or deciding not to offer any spare parts. All of that means a product becomes faulty or defective sooner than necessary and so cannot be used to the full extent. Planned obsolescence is thus closely linked to today’s throw-away society, in which products are no longer repaired, but discarded and replaced by new ones.
 Source: German Federal Environment Agency (2016) – Press Release: Lifetime of electrical appliances becoming shorter and shorter