How can the tech industry think we’re ok with battery death?

We are all quite aware that a smartphone becomes largely unusable after a couple of years.

Assuming you haven’t broken it yourself, it’s quite likely that the battery will give up. It may not die completely, but it will have deteriorated to the point where it’s getting annoying to constantly carry a power bank in your bag.

Same thing with computers. Although my old MacBook Pro from 2019 is still fast enough for what I do in my daily work, the battery doesn’t last more than 45 minutes. Essentially, it’s complete useless unless you’re near a power source.

I had a period two or three years ago when I collected Ryobi gadgets. I bought a bunch of very expensive 18V batteries and soon the garage was full of tools, fans, lights and cleaning machines that all depended on my battery collection.

How do you think it’s doing three years later? Not great. Two batteries recently gave up completely and I’m dreading this summer’s off-grid renovation project. I was also stupid enough to buy some cheaper battery copies on Amazon. They all died within a year…

But the worst at my house is still all the IP cameras that are starting to fall off the peg, one after the other.

My Arlo cameras suddenly do not hold the charge. We’re talking 8-9 of them, all of which have become completely unusable after only 2-3 years.

Some due to the seal not being able to withstand the Nordic weather (with water leakage as a result). One that suddenly didn’t want to talk to the base station anymore. But the rest due to battery death. And then I have not let the batteries discharge completely, which I had to learn the hard way was the right thing to do.

I forgot about one of my two drones for six months and wanted to charge the four batteries I had. Two of them were dead and could not be restarted.

Now I have to set reminders in the calendar and have a charging party at home once a quarter. My wife can’t believe it when I rig up 50-60 batteries in different stations and charge like there’s no tomorrow. But apparently that’s what you have to do to keep the batteries alive, which in many cases are one of the most expensive components of a product. It’s not easy being an early adopter of new tech.

It seems that the entire electronics industry takes for granted that we are okay with buying new every 2-3 years. I understand that battery technology limits a lot of products, but then this needs to be made clear already when we buy the products. Like how you need to care for your lithium-ion darlings.

I buy new Arlo batteries more often than I buy laser toner for my printer. That’s not okay!


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