Gigaset E550 large-button phones awarded HTV-Life® mark of excellence

Munich, April 11, 2016 - Planned obsolescence, where a manufacturer deliberately reduces a product’s useful life without disclosing the fact, is more than ever an issue of concern to consumers, since such conduct not only hits customers in the pocket, but also represents a significant burden on the environment. With its premium products “Made in Germany,” Gigaset has taken a clear stance against planned obsolescence and also has this certified by an external body. The Gigaset E550 line of large-button phones has now succeeded in gaining the HTV-Life® mark of excellence.

Study by the German Federal Environment Agency proves products too short useful life
Planned obsolescence is a complex issue and it is difficult to prove that manufacturers have built it into their products. Yet it is a fact that the useful life of electrical appliances – whether TV sets, notebooks or washing machines – is growing shorter, according to the official assessment by the German Federal Environment Agency in a press release dated February 15, 2016.  The President of the Federal Environment Agency, Maria Krautzberger, criticizes the fact that “many appliances have too short a useful life” and also points to the “[…] lack of transparency for consumers.”

Although an accompanying study commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency could not prove that manufacturers deliberately planned obsolescence into their products, only few manufacturers take a proactive approach and have their products certified by external bodies. However, Gigaset has worked with HTV-GmbH for almost two years and is having its entire prod-uct portfolio certified successively. As a result, Gigaset is one of the world’s first manufacturers to take this step and has already been awarded the HTV-Life® mark of excellence for the A400, E310, E630, C430, C620, SL400 and 850 product families. The family of Gigaset E550 large-button phones has now also succeeded in gaining certification.

“It goes without saying for many reasons that planned obsolescence should never be part of any product strategy,” says Raphael Dörr, press spokesman for Gigaset AG. “However, we want to show our customers very clearly and guarantee to them that there is no such thing as planned ob-solescence at Gigaset. That’s why we have our products certified by the independent expert HTV-GmbH. As a result, we live up to our pledge to deliver quality products to our customers, as well as our responsibility toward the environment.”

HTV-Life® mark of excellence for the Gigaset E550 line of large-button phones
The Gigaset E550 line of large-button phones is distinguished by an elegant design coupled with maximum ease of use. In the new phone, great importance was attached to a generous design of the buttons, display and fonts, as well as exceptional sound quality – including in hands-free mode or with digital hearing aids and headsets. Four separate speed dial keys for important numbers, including an emergency call function, ensure even more safety and user-friendliness. The main new features compared with the predecessor model, the E500, are a larger color display with even greater contrast, as well as a significantly enhanced sound profile.

The Gigaset E550 product family is on sale in the color “platinum.” The Gigaset E550 costs €79.99 and the variant with an answering machine, the Gigaset E550A, €99.99. An additional handset with a charging cradle (Gigaset E550H) costs €79.99. The new E550 models and all other Gigaset prod-ucts can also be obtained directly from the official Gigaset e-shop.

About HTV-GmbH
Founded in 1986, HTV is an independent test house which carries out electronic, mechanical and chemical analyses and assesses the service life of products. The company currently has around 220 employees. HTV's expertise is highly sought in studies, such as by federal offices, as well as for expert reports or qualifications. As a specialist in long-term conservation of components, HTV has very great competence in testing and analyzing mechanisms that cause products to age or fail and in determining the useful life of components. More information on the HTV mark of excellence can be found on the official Gigaset homepage. You can go there directly by clicking on this link.

What is planned obsolescence?
Basically, planned obsolescence denotes part of a deliberate product strategy in which weaknesses are built into a product, solutions with a shorter durability are developed, raw materials of lower quality are used or no spare parts are offered. All of that means a product becomes faulty or de-fective sooner than necessary and so cannot be used to the full extent. Planned obsolescence is thus closely linked to today’s throw-away society, in which products are no longer repaired, but discarded and replaced by new ones.

Gigaset AG, Munich, is an internationally operating company in the area of communications technology. The company is Europe's market leader in DECT telephones. The premium supplier is likewise the leader worldwide with around 1,250 employees and sales activities in around 70 countries. Under the name Gigaset pro, the company continues to develop and market innovative business telephony solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. The company also operates in the smart home arena. Cloud-based security solutions are developed and marketed under Gigaset elements.

Gigaset AG is listed in the Prime Standard of Deutsche Börse and is therefore subject to the highest transparency requirements. Its shares are traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol GGS (ISIN: DE0005156004).

Press Contact:
Raphael Dörr
Press Spokesman Gigaset AG
Phone: +49 (0)89 444 456 866

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