When to Replace Vs. Repair a Device

Murphy says it’s going to break and Moore says you should throw it away. Murphy has become famous for his law stating that anything that can go wrong will. Unfortunately, electronics are not an exception to that rule. The good news is that Moore’s law suggests that replacing that broken electronic device will likely cost […]

Murphy says it’s going to break and Moore says you should throw it away.

Murphy has become famous for his law stating that anything that can go wrong will. Unfortunately, electronics are not an exception to that rule. The good news is that Moore’s law suggests that replacing that broken electronic device will likely cost less than the item originally cost you.

Gordon Moore made a fairly accurate prediction about microchips and the doubling of their processing power. This has led to the continuous reduction in cost for ever more powerful electronics that are both smaller and lighter. For example, the computer purchased five years ago for $2,000 will now cost approximately $500. Therefore, depending on the age of a device and the problem with it, the best course of action may be to replace rather than to repair.

Even if your repairs are cheaper than replacing the computer, it’s important to consider what the price difference is and look ahead at the company’s future needs. If new software requirements coming out in the next one to two years are likely to push your systems to the limit then investing in a new computer now may be the better option.

You can also use the computer breaking down as an opportunity to save on taxes. You can write off the broken computer as a loss and investing in a new computer can be used as a tax shield via depreciation. Furthermore, the cost of the broken computer should not be factored into this decision making as it is a sunk cost.

A rough guideline for how quickly a device has become ‘obsolete is as follows: TVs 5+ years, computers 3+ years, and tablets/phones 2+ years. This guideline is looking at your run-of-the-mill device; it doesn’t take into account a computer that is built at the extreme high-end that is most likely equipped to handle new software for the next 5-10 years, nor is it looking at an extremely low-end computer, either.

If you’re uncertain what the best decision is, feel free to contact us and we can provide you with our opinion and provide a financial breakdown behind that reasoning.

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