For Sony, "planned obsolescence" is a serious PR threat

This is interesting. I’m sure you and your friends have joked about how this or that device borked itself within a week of the warranty expiring, or right after a newer version was introduced. Planned obsolescence and all that. But I doubt you gave serious credence to the idea that there was actually a timer inside your laptop, ticking down to its destruction. Of course not, right? Well, if this article is to be believed, that’s actually a semi-serious concern in Japan, and Sony is trying hard to combat the resultant negative PR.

It seems that in 2006, several million Sony-branded batteries in Dell laptops all failed at the same time, and rumors began circulating that it was, in fact, a Sony “kill switch” that had malfunctioned and prematurely executed the laptops. Sounds silly to us, but apparently it’s really affecting sales over there, mainly of Vaio laptops and some other stuff.

I guess we have our own consumer myths, not just Pop Rocks and Coke but ideas like the Apple Tax, or that Compaq PCs are garbage, that kind of thing. But this Sony kill switch conspiracy theory was just too fun not to share.