When you use electricity and copper or another conductor with a pure natural element, the working principle could last for billion years. That's not the case for the usual electronic equipment.
The vast quantity of electronic waste that each year is added to the heritage in these terms really speaks for itself. It seems that the interrelated industry prefers to invest in research and development for other kind of features, perhaps without thinking in obvious critics like this one, when a random analyzer observes that doing so the problems are bigger, and normally their sales go up considerably creating fortunes.
The most common warranty periods are one, two or three years but not twenty, forty or two hundred. Someone could argue about that it's necessary for maintaining the economy in good shape, for constant sales, and also for playing in a good position in the usual opinion about how to measure economies, related with imports and exports. The first aspect to note is how this economic model causes a great environmental impact in the same habitat in which humanity lives, with other species, and there's not a known “license to destroy” or “to kill” as in James Bond movies.
If a company sells a product that lasts thousand years, covers all necessities, and has a design that doesn't go out of context, it looses the possibility of selling another one for the same time. This is a straightforward conjecture, but what about others? If any lifetime is a client, there are billions, right? Why not providing additional features?
Some economists like to talk about the market's wonders —impossible, simply by analyzing poverty rates and the rate of resource depletion without efficient antagonists—, stating that like a miracle the market will adjust itself toward better operation. Numerous fields made the competition in prices a parallel decrease in quality, condemning the ecosystem to a massive quantity of incoming waste.
For that reason, there are more factors to consider than the “warranty engineering”, when the technical discussion is for ensuring a definite lifetime, forgetting or adding some additional element. There's the possibility of physically studying this reality, and discovering how easy would be to solve the main causes of failure.
Another common topic in economics is how the market despises wrong players, with ineffective setups. At the same time, the population is accustomed nowadays to follow actions that should be seen wrong by definition, because the main detriment goes to the consumer. How could these two facts converge? An easy answer is: like politics, the options are not a lot and the solution is sometimes to pick up “the least damaging”, where the price plays a very important role.
As the environment is the key aspect that supports life, present and future, it's always a good reason to be more responsible when consuming different products, to ask for more information about its materials or greater durability.
Any entity that works without thinking in exploiting others for achieving more personal benefit is fantastic, and for instance the open hardware community raises another standards. When you know the workings of some hardware, to repair and ensure more years of lifetime is easier. On the other hand is consumerism, with the slogan “Buying is easier than think”, usually related with lack of personality with people that buy only for fashions, without really worrying about waste or other problems that come from their actions. None living in a planet should forget that we depend on the environment health to survive and live in appropriate conditions.