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The Joy of Ethics in the Cell Phone Industry

For some unknown and unexplained reasons, we witness how several items in the market seem to defy logic with their pricing schemes. In most cases, these schemes seem to suggest to the buying public of the company’s preference for them to purchase new units instead of opting for parts that would lengthen the product’s life span.

One case wherein this practice is widespread is with the telecommunications sector, particularly in the cell phone business, where one can buy an entire brand new set for only $39, as to a battery replacement that will cost you $60. Based on the irony of this practice, it truly exposes the manufacturer’s desire for their customers to continually upgrade their cell phone units whenever they need them to be repaired or parts replaced, perhaps as their means of assuring that their products will continue to be sold at a consistent rate.

The first thing that enters our thoughts as we become aware of this business practice in the cell phone industry, is perhaps they price their battery replacements at unreasonably high levels in order to force the consumers to decide instead of replacing their present units for a better one. Naturally, when we do decide to

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replace our cell phones, we often buy the latest models which are the more expensive ones. Economically and business-wise, this would mean an assured purchase from the customer.

After all, who would choose to buy a battery pack that is worth twice as expensive as a new unit? Although somewhat contrary to ethical business practice, this can provide the cell phone companies with enormous volumes of sales, which will in turn ensure that their corporations will prosper and thus provide numerous job opportunities for the society. Whether this is indeed immoral or just an accepted part of a corporate reality, the fact remains that these cell phone companies are able to sell voluminously and had remained as one of the most prolific players in the market.

The society seems to be inclined to be forgiving of their ethical transgression, and has in fact always been excited on what technological innovations the next models of cell phones will possess. If all of us were to buy batteries instead of patronizing new and better products, then in most probability, the cell phone companies will not only lack the necessary financial strengths to fund researches and market surveys, but will also be restrained in advancing the technology that is present in cell phones.

Perhaps it would be safe to assume that one of the major reasons for the astounding rate of the advancement of technology had been our incessant fondness to own the latest, most advanced, and most stylish cell phone units available in the market. With this same line of reasoning, if all cell phones were to be priced with expensive tags, then it would have to be assumed that sales will be tremendously scarce and inadequate to support an industry.

There will be a clear and present danger that the cell phone industry will die a natural death and we, as a society, would have to be relegated to the dark ages in telecommunications, such as it was during the past decades. Thus, although pricing a battery replacement twice as expensive as the cell phone unit itself seems, at least initially, to be an unethical business practice, the society will always be grateful and tolerant of the aforementioned companies because it answers their desire to be technologically and fashionably “in”.

Unwittingly, we approve of this practice if only for the reason that cell phones have long since stopped being an item of luxury and had in fact been a part of our daily existence. Whether the relative pricing schemes of batteries and cell phone units are indeed mathematically and economically rational, we have chosen to send this dilemma to the recycle bins of our society and simply marvel at the manner that technology is changing our very existence.

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