why do cheap Chinese electronics work perfectly at first, but quickly get broken afterwards?

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why do cheap Chinese electronics work perfectly at first, but quickly get broken afterwards?

In: Engineering

7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

A lot of what goes into making electronics expensive involves quality control, good soldering, components that don’t overheat and aren’t overly sensitive to ambient conditions. If you want save money and make a quick euro, using unskilled labor with little QC and the cheapest bits of kit you can find will work. Sure it might overheat and sure the capacitors might leak, but it will work long enough to make the sale.

In a word, they are cheap.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Many electronic components are sensitive to heat. If you want to embrace planned obsolescence,  it’s very easy to construct capacitors to die after a while.

Of course, you can also design them to last decades, but….where’s the profit in that?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Traditionally, the Chinese culture has no concept of warranty.

Products only have to work for 30 seconds; enough time to convince you to buy the product and fork over the cash.  Once you walk out of the shop with the product, the deal is done and they won’t do a thing even if the product spontaneously disintegrates as you walk to your car.

Things have improved in recent years, with globalization and online resellers being forced to take returns for refunds, but this is where they are coming from.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Its easy to make something that works once

Its very hard (and expensive) to make something that works well, for a long time

Anonymous 0 Comments

Engineering electronics is a difficult process. Real life stuff has many more variables and complex behavior than theory and textbooks suggest. This is very hard to teach and even harder to get intuition without a lot of practice and testing and expert guidance.

Anyone with a bit of knowledge can pick out a textbook circuit design, layout a simple PCB and pick components out of a catalog to make a circuit that is supposed to perform a certain task. This is something a 2nd year engineering student is taught.

But it takes the engineer with many years of experience to know why laying out traces a certain way, putting in ground planes, specifying components a certain way and adding “protective” components to reduce noise, eliminate transients and increase reliability. Not knowing this results in a “weak” design that tends to behave unreliably and fail quickly upon repeated use. Many times it takes weeks of rigorous (time consuming and expensive) debugging and testing to understand how a circuit actually performs rather than how it is “supposed” to perform in theory.

Choosing the simplest circuits using the minimum spec components will result in electronics that break quickly.

Anonymous 0 Comments

When you buy stuff like that you are seeing the 60% that passed the end of line turn on test, the boards that were broken before it was assembled are not shipped.

Also, many things with chips have firmware on them. If you cheap out development and testing, you can easily have a thing that turns on and runs correctly, then after a week it enters an irrecoverable loop or some cheap memory corrupts and suddenly the thing is a paper weight. or it breaks in a different time zone. Or if you cool then heat the board and it gets humid the contacts corrode or..

Quality product companies spend a lot of time and money finding all those problems and spend money protecting against them. Cheapo companies just ship the thing and hope to get some sales before the 1 star reviews come in.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Cheap Chinese electronics ?

Like your iPhone ?

Seriously man, c’mon.