Would you be surprised to know that obsolete mobiles officially exist and that brands don’t see anything negative in them either? And what would you think if we told you that you shouldn’t be surprised either? Talk about an officially outdated mobile It has nothing to do with planned obsolescence.which has given, gives and will continue to give rise to many news, debates and controversies.
Having an old mobile is not having an obsolete mobile. Or at least not directly. It is obvious that the two concepts are linked, but we can come across terminals from 10 years ago which, not only are not obsolete, but in addition they can to follow being functional. In this article, we will dig deeper into the exact meaning of this term.
When does a cell phone become obsolete?
The first thing we have to say is that there is no standard common to all manufacturers. Everyone can have their own policies and the only one who establishes them publicly is, curiously, the only one who doesn’t have Android on their smartphones: Apple. Either way, we at Xataka Android have contacted major Android manufacturers and found some common patterns.
For Apple, obsolete iPhones are those that ceased to be sold more than 5 years ago and less than 7 years ago, as well as those that were not manufactured during these periods.
Google, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus, Vivo, LG Realme and the long etcetera of Android phone makers (even those who no longer sell mobiles or officially carry Android) are fixing mobile obsolescence when they stop receiving updates and their warranty has expired
Within the same brand, we can find mobiles that continue to receive software updates for more years than others, even if they were launched even earlier. Therefore, these will be deprecated later. In the same way, the mark takes into account the moment when the warranty of the last mobile sold ends. Let’s see the latter with an example.
Let’s imagine that a brand, let’s call it ExamplePhone, launches the ExamplePhone 1 on the market in 2020. This terminal was also announced with 2 years of updates, so in 2022 it has already received the last one. Well, this device already has an indication to declare obsolete, although it will depend on when the last one is sold. Even if there is only one consumer If you buy the ExamplePhone 1 in 2022, it cannot be declared obsolete because the user must have a warranty until 2025. That will be when the device can legally be declared obsolete.
Not a general rule either, but a pattern that many manufacturers tend to have in common, cell phones are declared obsolete once their warranty period is up and they lack software updates.
However, they are not necessarily always cataloged as obsolete after this period. According to the policies of the manufacturer, they can still consider it a fully valid device even though it hasn’t been sold for years and no user has purchased it recently.
Likewise, we were able to find that a mobile is not always obsolete all over the world. And this is still due to the legal guarantee that they must offer in each territory, since there is no common standard in the world in this regard. In any case, it is also not usual to find cases like this, since manufacturers usually wait until it is globally obsolete to declare it so.
Curiously, to say that we can meet brands that don’t have outdated mobiles. Although it is not so much a question of commercial policy, but because it is still young manufacturers who accumulate obsolete devices.
What implications does this cataloging imply?
Although everyone has their own perception, the truth is that “obsolescence” is a word with a clear negative connotation. However, far from what it may seem, an obsolete mobile can continue to be functional at all levels. It will always depend on the use that has been made of it and, although logically it will not have the most recent Android or the most advanced hardware, it can still be valid.
Generally speaking, becoming obsolete implies that impossible to buy new in any establishment. Something obvious, but at the same time paradoxical if we take into account that to be obsolete it must stop being sold. On another side, will not accept repairs in official technical services. But be careful with that, because it has its fine print.
That a mobile cannot be brought to the manufacturer for repair, does not imply that they are irreparable. There are still third-party establishments where they can continue to accept this type of mobile. In many cases, you can even find parts on the internet so you can repair them yourself. Then it may or may not be worth it depending on the complexity or price involved, but vicariously they can still be fixed.
However, here it is necessary to take into account the new warranty law coming into force in 2022 in countries like Europe. We have already talked about this issue before referring to the 3 year warranty of mobile phones, and it is that among the legal changes there is also the obligation to offer 10 years of repairs for the consumer, so at the end the period until a mobile is declared obsolete increases.
Possible uses that can be given to an obsolete mobile
Returning to the functional domain, we recall that a mobile declared obsolete can even do the same as a new one. In other words, you can call, browse the Internet, use applications normally, take photos, videos… Everything.
It is true that there will come a time that the applications are no longer compatible. This is, for example, the case of popular applications like WhatsApp. For reasons of optimization of technical, human and economic resources, the developers of these applications and others concentrate their efforts on the most recent versions of the software. However, They generally offer great longevity. In the case of the aforementioned WhatsApp, it has been on average between 8 and 10 years since the version of Android that the mobile came out.
However, if you have another mobile, but you keep an obsolete one you should know that you can also make very interesting use of it. Here is ideas with which to resurrect it and not let it gather dust in a drawer:
These are just a few examples that we find interesting, but if you’re creative you might find more. And it is that, as we have said throughout the post, at the end having an outdated mobile is not a bad thing. Not at least if it has been declared so according to the pre-established rules.