For example, Indonesian consumers are replacing TVs that are nearly half the average age of TVs being replaced in Japan. This also is happening during a time when significant incentives are being offered to entice Japanese consumers to upgrade.
It is known that TVs sold in Japan are generally made in Japan because of picky domestic consumers. I am picky, too, but don’t have much of a choice living in the US: nearly all electronics seem to be made in China. If I had a choice, I’d pay more for a TV that was made in Japan. Why? Because I think Japan makes higher quality stuff than China. I normally stay away, as much as I can, from stuff that’s made in China. I want my stuff to kill me and I want them to last a good long time. (One glaring exception is Apple stuff: high quality, made in China.) With that I’d like to propose that TVs in developing countries are being replaced more quickly probably because those TVs, most likely made in China, are breaking more quickly.
There also may be another reason. If you’ve ever been to Japan you’ll notice old cars that look like they were taken out of a museum. My perception of Japanese is that they take really good care of their stuff, more so than others. This might be changing in the younger generations but it is apparent in older generations. Given this assumption of mine, TVs will naturally last longer in Japan not only because of the higher quality but also because they are well taken care of.
I’d like to see a TV brand build a top-notch TV in terms of quality and performance, exact a premium price, and provide a lifetime guarantee for it. Timing is ripe for something like this since there doesn’t seem to be any revolutionary breakthroughs in TV technology in the near future: we’ve got billions of colors with a 10-bit LCD, full LED backlight technology for excellent local dimming leading to KURO-equivalent black levels, 21:9 aspect ratio for watching film, de-interlacing and up-scaling technologies, 240Hz for flicker-free performance, etc., etc. Build it and it can last a good long while. This way we can get away from making a whole bunch of junk that’s thrown away in a couple of years, keep them out of landfills, and be thoroughly entertained while helping to maintain a healthy environment. Let’s work toward extending TV replacement cycles.