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Obsolescence refers to the quality of what is obsolete. This adjective, which comes from the latin obsolescensmentions something that is becoming obsolete, old or archaic and, therefore, which falls into disuse.
Examples: "the obsolescence of mobile phones or laptops is obvious", "I'm sorry to inform you that the machine that you have purchased will soon fall into obsolescence", "technology companies benefit from the obsolescence of products to sell their new models.
There are several factors at the origin of the obsolescence of a device, to a machine or technology. The most common cause of obsolescence is the development of new systems with superior performance, what leads people to turn to the latest news and to set aside the machines and devices they used previously.
We can understand the concept from the replacement of the typewriter by the computer (PC). Until the emergence of the personal computer (PC), people using the typewriter as the best mechanism to write letters, documents, books, etc. With the advent of the computer and its benefits (possibility to delete or erase before printing, use of different fonts), the typewriter has started to suffer obsolescence.
The difficulty of finding spare parts (which is common with cars), fashion (which is encouraged through advertising) and social pressure (the new machines allow to achieve a certain social status) are other questions affecting the obsolescence of products and promote the replacement by consumers.