A fall in the value of an asset as a result of its age. For example, plant and equipment may not have actually worn out but may have become out of date because technology has advanced and more efficient plant has become available. It also applies to consumer durables (see consumer goods), in which a change of style may render a serviceable piece of equipment, such as a car or washing machine, out of date. In accounting, obsolescence is an important factor both for depreciation of fixed assets and for valuation of stock. Built-in obsolescence or planned obsolescence is a deliberate policy adopted by a manufacturer to limit the durability of a product in order to encourage the consumer to buy a replacement more quickly than he or she otherwise might have to. The morality of this policy has been frequently questioned but is usually defended on two grounds. Firstly, in the modern world, the pace of technological improvement is such that many consumers will choose to buy new computers, CD players, etc. , before their existing models have worn out. In these circumstances, it makes sense for manufacturers to produce cheap products that will function well for a fairly short period rather than more expensive ones that will function long after they have become technically obsolete. Secondly, Western economies depend on strong consumer demand; if such consumer durables as cars and washing machines were built to last for their purchaser's lifetime, demand would be reduced to a level that would create enormous unemployment.

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  • OBSOLESCENCE — Qu’une technique nouvelle jugée plus «rentable» se répande aux dépens d’une technique utilisée antérieurement, qu’un équipement nouveau devienne disponible et donne au travail une productivité plus élevée en abaissant les coûts de production, les …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • obsolescence — ob‧so‧les‧cence [ˌɒbsəˈlesns ǁ ˌɑːb ] noun [uncountable] when a product, system etc is becoming no longer useful because something better is available, possible etc: • Now markets are subject to the faster obsolescence of products due to greater …   Financial and business terms

  • obsolescence — ob·so·les·cence /ˌäb sə les əns/ n: a loss in the utility or value of property that results over time from intrinsic limitations (as outmoded facilities) or external circumstances ◇ Obsolescence is usu. distinguished from depreciation and… …   Law dictionary

  • obsolescence — (n.) 1809; see OBSOLESCENT (Cf. obsolescent) + ENCE (Cf. ence). Phrase Planned obsolescence coined 1932, revived as a disparaging term 1950s …   Etymology dictionary

  • Obsolescence — Ob so*les cence, n. [See {Obsolescent}.] The state of becoming obsolete. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Obsolescence — Obsolete redirects here. For the album by Fear Factory, see Obsolete (album). Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order. Obsolescence… …   Wikipedia

  • Obsolescence — Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Obsolescence », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) L’obsolescence[1] est le fait pour un produit d’être dépassé, et donc de perdre une partie de sa valeur en raison de la seule… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • obsolescence — noun Date: circa 1828 the process of becoming obsolete or the condition of being nearly obsolete < the gradual obsolescence of machinery > < reduced to obsolescence > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • obsolescence — n. built in; planned obsolescence * * * [ˌɒbsə les(ə)ns] planned obsolescence built in …   Combinatory dictionary

  • obsolescence — ob|so|les|cence [ˌɔbsəˈlesəns US ˌa:b ] n [U] 1.) when something becomes old fashioned and no longer useful, because something newer and better has been invented 2.) planned/built in obsolescence when a product is designed so that it will soon… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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