General question for those who have worked in the consumer electronics industry: Are small rechargeable devices (like bluetooth audio devices specifically) designed to fail after a set time to force customer replacement? Is there for instance a mechanism that disables charging once the battery has totally failed or after a certain length of time? I have heard of AC power supplies having lower-rating capacitors or something that will decrease component life and cause earlier failure.
I've experienced this perhaps 3 times:
Somewhat older electronics:
- Motorola HT820 stereo bluetooth headphones - model 1 failed after about 2 years. Lights up on connecting charger but will not charge or power on after being on charger.
- Motorola HT820 stereo bluetooth headphones - probably different hardware revision - Failed in same fashion after about 1 year.
- Bose QC35 bluetooth noise cancelling headphones - $350 - Failed after 1.5 years. No lights on connecting charger. Will not charge - Details: Battery was definitely almost at end of life. Disassembled to find the lipo battery inside it. Accidentally poked battery releasing a very small spark. Used it next day until battery depleted. Tried to connect charger after that, no lights, no charge. What the heck? Battery might have been failed/dead completely at that point (0 charge due to short I created?).
On the other hand, I had a lipo based Palm Centro that lasted many many years before it started to display random glitches probably caused by hardware. It lasted clear from 2008 (new model) to about 2014-15? I've had a lenovo thinkpad T430 that has been running great since 2011, used daily, but not transported all that much (which I think greatly increases mechanical wear on the circuits). I am only now replacing it because it can't run newer games.
So TL;DR: Do consumer electronics have actual kill circuits that make the device fail when the battery really dies or some other timeframe that makes the customer replace?