As PhillipW's comment points out, Alvaro hasn't really answered the question.
Washing machines, more than fridges, are an interesting peak into the morphing of culture by media and advertising. There's a good case to be made for the changing nature of relationships between people, and those things that they own, and where they live and how they relate to communities, being reflected in the design considerations, engineering properties and manufacturing qualities of washing machines.
The simple answer is "to sell more washing machines, for more profit", but the key words here, and the definitions important to understanding this, are the two different uses of "more", how they compound each other, and understanding the contextual market influences and evolving expectations upon (and of) technologically focused equipment versus the ageing out of previous expectations upon the lifespan and costs of mechanical equipment.
This is not more of an individual washing machine, and it's not more washing machines in total. It's a specific desire to differentiate those washing machines with higher prices and profits by features, because their core benefits are difficult to market. Other manufacturers have subsequently glommed onto this technique, and abuse it to pretend to be selling superior, more capable machines.
And this is where the crux of angst about Japanese, then South Korean, and subsequently Chinese made washing machines stems from.
The forces involved and that a washing machine must suffer can be tremendous: spin, wash cycles and heating of water. Three brutal mechanical activities, especially given the provisions of loads without balance and little to no control of the quality of water, detergent and dirt and filth, oils and bleaches on (or put on) the clothing.
Controlling the rate of a washing machine's operations are rather trivial when compared to the engineering, manufacturing, quality control, servicing and repairing of something that's built to take a veritable hiding of sustained use over many years and is/was central to a family's presentation of itself to the world, from the back rooms of a house.
The real difference, between a good washing machine and a great one, is the grade, capacity and power of internals: the engine and mechanics of its operation. But expecting people to spend the kinds of monies required to buy a great washing machine when its interface is simplistic is asking a lot of the buyer, and the salesman and his store.
So... some superficiality of added features, easy to add, increase the visible worth of a product so discussion can move to it not only having a better mechanical design and engineering, and having been produced to a higher standard of manufacturing, but it also does linens more gently, etc.
Eventually features became associated with quality.
Then other manufacturers realised they could mimic features without mimicking the hidden aspects of engineering quality, and make much larger profits, and sell more washing machines from this "category" more often, because theirs weren't serviceable and repairable, died earlier, and most people no longer communicate about the lifetime and quality of their washing machine experiences.
Samsung has now pushed this too far, and created exploding washing machines to match their exploding phones.