Teardown claims Essential Phone is hard-to-repair 'hot mess'

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,310member
    Soli said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I care, and so does Arya.
    Mass market does not care. As these devices get smaller and more tightly integrated and cheaper to produce, end-user repairability becomes even more of an edge case than it is today.

    I'm all for shop repairability as long as possible, but I realize that inevitably even this will be less feasible and cost more resources than recycling and replacing.

    Still, it's fun to read about a touted Android device suffering from iFixIt's disdain. 
    1) I don't understand your post. Who suggested that iFixit was for the masses? Anything that delves into technology, like this forum, is only of interest to a very small portion of society.

    2) Repair shops use iFixit's free guides. They're very detailed, even to the point of measuring every single screw that may look exactly the same to the naked eye but is slightly longer or shorter, which could affect a repair. I can't understand why anyone would attack iFixit for taking the time and effort to post these detailed, helpful guides for anyone to use? No one is making you replace your own cracked iPhone display. No one is making you buy their toolkits or replacement parts.

    In the past month I've fixed two iPhone displays (from different models) for friends at a fraction of the cost that Apple would've charged, which I could only do by using iFixit's guides. Have you tried following a YouTube video that shows you how to repair a component? I'm hoping to finally replace my HDD with an SSD in my Mac mini, but if you look at the iFixit guide you'll see this isn't a simple swap. Without having read their guide I may have just dug in there and not realized what an undertaking it will be. Why is that a bad thing?
  • Reply 22 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,310member
    melgross said:
    maestro64 said:
    timpetus said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    Quite the non-sequitur, there. You say that because you don't want repairable devices, nobody else should be allowed to choose them either. The market is a place where competitors can and should be able to offer different alternatives.
    Actually I find the people who do not care if something can be fixed, are the people who lack the skills to fix what they own. Personally I rather have a product which does not need to be fix before berating it because it can be easily fixed. Considering my Kids broke their display how many time, and the fact I personally could fix them in under and hour and for less than $50, was worth the repair than having to make them buy a new $600 phone because they were still on contract. Yeah I know, make kids pay, and I do, but in the end the parent still end up paying.
    That’s not true. I have the skill, and the tools,  but I choose not to, as do most people.
    "But I choose not to, as do most people" can be applied to pretty much everything. What matters if if there's a market for it. Do you not think there's a market for repair shops? If you say there isn't then you're lying.
  • Reply 23 of 106
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,662member

    avon b7 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I take the opposite view. Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary.
    So let me get this straight -- you're saying the state of the art technology should not be legally allowed to evolve into new formats even smaller and more efficient, if it prevents guys in the back room from being able to work on them? We should halt all technology progress beyond this arbitrary limit, just because? 

    I find this very odd. It's like protecting buggy whip makers. 

    If devices get small and cheaper and reach a point where replacing costs fewer resources than repairing -- let's say everything were integrated into a single chip, which nobody can repair -- that seems to be completely natural. Producing this hypothetical chip would get cheaper over time and require less resources than producing multiple chips and modules. Efficiency is a good thing.
    If that straw man device exists that's fine. But if it cost 1/30 someone's salary they would be mad to have to chuck it regardless. Would be good if a person knew this info in advance so they can decide if they want to buy it

    the AirPod is somewhat the kind of device that mixes a relatively low price with a high component density and low repair ability. In that mix of conditions , it makes sense to chuck one of a pair if it is broken.
  • Reply 24 of 106
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,990member
    timpetus said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    Quite the non-sequitur, there. You say that because you don't want repairable devices, nobody else should be allowed to choose them either. The market is a place where competitors can and should be able to offer different alternatives.
    And since no manufacturer is making easily repairable phones one could conclude there is no market for them. It's fine if someone wants to make a product that fits the desires of a small minority. Just don't demand that the government compel manufacturers to produce such products like the Right to Repair bullshit does. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,310member
    lkrupp said:
    timpetus said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    Quite the non-sequitur, there. You say that because you don't want repairable devices, nobody else should be allowed to choose them either. The market is a place where competitors can and should be able to offer different alternatives.
    And since no manufacturer is making easily repairable phones one could conclude there is no market for them. It's fine if someone wants to make a product that fits the desires of a small minority. Just don't demand that the government compel manufacturers to produce such products like the Right to Repair bullshit does. 
    Avon is the one that claimed that there should be laws that force personal computing devices to be built like we're in the old USSR.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 106
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,990member
    Soli said:
    melgross said:
    maestro64 said:
    timpetus said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    Quite the non-sequitur, there. You say that because you don't want repairable devices, nobody else should be allowed to choose them either. The market is a place where competitors can and should be able to offer different alternatives.
    Actually I find the people who do not care if something can be fixed, are the people who lack the skills to fix what they own. Personally I rather have a product which does not need to be fix before berating it because it can be easily fixed. Considering my Kids broke their display how many time, and the fact I personally could fix them in under and hour and for less than $50, was worth the repair than having to make them buy a new $600 phone because they were still on contract. Yeah I know, make kids pay, and I do, but in the end the parent still end up paying.
    That’s not true. I have the skill, and the tools,  but I choose not to, as do most people.
    "But I choose not to, as do most people" can be applied to pretty much everything. What matters if if there's a market for it. Do you not think there's a market for repair shops? If you say there isn't then you're lying.
    There may be a market for repair shops. But don't lobby for laws that compel them to exist and compel manufacturers to supply the parts that enable them to exist. The TouchID replacement sensor debacle should be a warning. As freaked out as we are about security and privacy these days it makes no sense to allow third parties access to parts that need to be paired in a certain way to maintain that security.
    suddenly newtontmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 106
    bill42bill42 Posts: 117member
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    iFixit demonstrates that in order to change the battery or repair the smallest little part inside like the charge port, you basically have to destroy the phone. Not you. A repair shop. You don't care that a repair shop can't change the used-up battery of your phone? That is ludicrous. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,310member
    lkrupp said:
    There may be a market for repair shops. But don't lobby for laws that compel them to exist and compel manufacturers to supply the parts that enable them to exist. The TouchID replacement sensor debacle should be a warning. As freaked out as we are about security and privacy these days it makes no sense to allow third parties access to parts that need to be paired in a certain way to maintain that security.
    Besides Avon, whom on this thread said there should be laws that force manufacturers to make repairs easy and sell replacement parts? What does any of that have to do with iFixit doing a little research to see what components, if any, are serviceable and then then to rate the ease at which these components can be fixed?

    I've spent a lot of money on Chilton and Haynes auto repair books since getting my first car so I'd have some inclination of what was involved before tackling a problem and then using those guides to enact the repairs or upgrades. I didn't complain that those books costing money and I'm certainly not going to complain that iFixit has even better step-by-step guides with difficulty ratings for free.
  • Reply 29 of 106
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,372moderator
    The ifixit verdict on this phone seems to go beyond the realm of end-user repairability or even 3rd-party repair shop repairability.  Seems like these Essential phones are put together in a manner that would prevent even Essential, the company that designed it, from being able to repair it.  And that's a bad thing.  A smartphone should be repairable to some extent, because no matter how reliable a handset might be, people still drop their phones, shatter or otherwise damage the display and other components.  Batteries do, eventually, wear out, if not naturally over time, their usable lives can be shortened by shock, extreme heat or cold or other stresses.  If the battery is sealed inside a handset that cannot be opened without risking breaking the display, that's not good for consumers, it's not good for the environment, and it's not good for a company's reputation.  Other components, such as the charging/data port can break or wear out, as can volume and power buttons, etc.  It would be the height of hubris to think a phone can be designed today that will never suffer injuries that would imply repair.  Perhaps in ten years material science may allow that, but we're not there yet. 

    Hey Mr. Rubin , it's not so easy copying great hardware as it was copying great software.  Lol
    edited September 2017 avon b7StrangeDayschiarandominternetpersonwatto_cobramacky the mackymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 30 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,202member

    avon b7 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I take the opposite view. Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary.
    So let me get this straight -- you're saying the state of the art technology should not be legally allowed to evolve into new formats even smaller and more efficient, if it prevents guys in the back room from being able to work on them? We should halt all technology progress beyond this arbitrary limit, just because? 

    I find this very odd. It's like protecting buggy whip makers. 

    If devices get small and cheaper and reach a point where replacing costs fewer resources than repairing -- let's say everything were integrated into a single chip, which nobody can repair -- that seems to be completely natural. Producing this hypothetical chip would get cheaper over time and require less resources than producing multiple chips and modules. Efficiency is a good thing.
    You are wrong. Again.

    I truly think you would be better off simply asking for clarification instead of jumping in feet first with your:

    "So, let me get this straight..."
    "So, what you are saying is..."
    "So, you want us to believe that..."

    And then making up some wildly off base claim that caters to your desires to place words into the OP's space.

    It's not about not allowing tech evolve but how it evolves.

    Not long ago a lot of tech equipment was full of very dangerous elements and not disposed of correctly.

    It might surprise you to learn that every aspect of technology is governed by legislation. From the materials used, the radio waves they can travel over and the guarantees they offer. Two of the most important tech related EU directives of recent times have had a massive worldwide impact. They are WEEE and RoHS. Both had a direct impact on prices (pushing them up, no less!).

    I was involved to a small degree on the WEEE draft and I'm sure you would have hated it. In short, it said that we could not continue in the way we were. It told industry that solutions had to be found and that 'there is no solution' would not be accepted as an answer. It was without doubt the most strongly worded draft directive I have ever seen.

    Legislation resolves issues. That is why people are lobbying, in favour of and against, right to repair bills in the US.

    I do not make the laws. They are made by your elected governments.

    You probably don't remember the feature phone charger madness of ten years ago. That was remedied by the EU too, and is largely why micro USB is a charging constant around the world.

    We do not live in the wild west. Everything is under legislation. Tech legislation is often slow in catching up with the times, but if the moment arrives it will help to level things out.

    Now, I said if the moment arrives. That is the context of the if in my original phrase. We do not know how things will play out.

    Your second part is hanging off a big 'if' so it's not possible to know. What we know is that that isn't the case today.
    edited September 2017 macky the macky2old4fun
  • Reply 31 of 106
    lmaclmac Posts: 131member
    The vast majority of repairs are due to water intrusion or impact. Of course the market cares about repairs. I have had broken glass and immersion problems with several phones that still had a lot of life left in them, and at least in the case of broken screen, I was glad to have it repaired. As Apple moves towards a more sealed, waterproof case, it's going to get harder to repair their devices. As Apple moves towards lighter, sleeker looking phones, there will be increased use of glue and reduced use of tiny screws and brackets. It's an inevitable trade-off. So while I think the "right to repair" (or upgrade) makes a lot of sense for longer lived devices like desktop computers, we should not expect the same from phones. Demand waterproofing and durability, but not the right to repair. It's just not practical if we want phones to keep getting more powerful and simultaneously lighter and sleeker.
  • Reply 32 of 106
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,328member
    The most valuable part of a smartphone is your personal data and your content. As long as you don't lose any of of these real valuables when your phone craps out or is damaged then all is good with the world. Why should it matter whether you obtain a completely new replacement handset or have your existing unit replaced - as long as you don't lose anything valuable in the process?

    I suppose if you have a gold-plated, diamond encrusted, or engraved smartphone then I guess it might matter. But even then you can keep the old phone's diamond encrusted corpse to put on your knick-knack shelf or carry it around with you in addition to your new and fully functional replacement unit. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 33 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,202member
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    timpetus said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    Quite the non-sequitur, there. You say that because you don't want repairable devices, nobody else should be allowed to choose them either. The market is a place where competitors can and should be able to offer different alternatives.
    And since no manufacturer is making easily repairable phones one could conclude there is no market for them. It's fine if someone wants to make a product that fits the desires of a small minority. Just don't demand that the government compel manufacturers to produce such products like the Right to Repair bullshit does. 
    Avon is the one that claimed that there should be laws that force personal computing devices to be built like we're in the old USSR.
    Actually, I didn't :-)

    I expanded in my reply to SD.
  • Reply 34 of 106
    dewme said:
    I suppose if you have a gold-plated, diamond encrusted, or engraved smartphone then I guess it might matter.
    You mean like this?


  • Reply 35 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,202member
    Soli said:
    lkrupp said:
    There may be a market for repair shops. But don't lobby for laws that compel them to exist and compel manufacturers to supply the parts that enable them to exist. The TouchID replacement sensor debacle should be a warning. As freaked out as we are about security and privacy these days it makes no sense to allow third parties access to parts that need to be paired in a certain way to maintain that security.
    Besides Avon, whom on this thread said there should be laws that force manufacturers to make repairs easy and sell replacement parts? What does any of that have to do with iFixit doing a little research to see what components, if any, are serviceable and then then to rate the ease at which these components can be fixed?

    I've spent a lot of money on Chilton and Haynes auto repair books since getting my first car so I'd have some inclination of what was involved before tackling a problem and then using those guides to enact the repairs or upgrades. I didn't complain that those books costing money and I'm certainly not going to complain that iFixit has even better step-by-step guides with difficulty ratings for free.
    No one said it. It was simply part of my view on this topic. We aren't there yet, hence the 'if' in my post.

    If we move to a model where all manufacturers of expensive electronic and electrical equipment follow something similar to the Essential design we (consumers) will have a problem on our hands.

    In that scenario I prefer government  legislation, rather than industry, deciding  which way to go and have everyone pulling in the same direction.

    Radarthekat has given a list of good reasons why repairability can be beneficial and necessary for smartphones.

    But, like I said, I don't think we're exactly at that point yet.


  • Reply 36 of 106
    tipootipoo Posts: 849member
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 

    Presumably those who care pay attention to ifixit ratings. And that they're still kicking implies it's not an insignificant market they serve to pay their bread. 

    For yourself, you're free to, you know, not. 

    I'm in it for the gadget teardown porn, and they've very often helped me fix other systems (like a macbook pro keyboard replacement). 

    edited September 2017
  • Reply 37 of 106
    lmac said:
    The vast majority of repairs are due to water intrusion or impact...
    As Apple moves towards a more sealed, waterproof case, it's going to get harder to repair their devices.
    Strange how that works.
  • Reply 38 of 106
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,328member
    Notsofast said:
    In a utopian view perhaps, but what you are suggesting is that the greater than 99% of customers who have no need, intent or desire to ever repair a phone, should all pay more and accept less to accommodate the tiny fraction who are interested in repairing their own phone.  The engineering trade offs to manufacture the ever more complex devices would cripple advancements.  The other problem that occurs is where do you draw the line?  Does a manufacturer have to separately create a retail distribution line for parts and components that, even if practical, would never come close to covering costs? For example, would Apple have to build the next phone  with user repairable OLED screen that Apple stocks and sells to consumers? 
    What you're describing in terms of spares, repair parts, and obsolescence accommodation are some of the reasons why military system acquisition costs have been so enormously high. To reduce costs many military systems are now designed around commercial off the shelf (COTS) and in some cases the systems are modularized so entire subsystems are designed to be periodically replaced over their expected lifetime. Even then it's not a perfect solution because it incurs (potentially much) more upfront architectural and design costs to build systems with replaceability and substitution in mind. For military systems with a 10-30 year expected lifetime this approach may be okay, but for products like the iPhone that sell in the hundreds of millions per major version and undergo substantial redesign every two or three years with drastic performance differences in components over very short periods of time, designing for component/subsystem replaceability is impractical and nearly impossible. Additionally, commercial consumers are demanding steadily increasing performance and feature growth from version to version, and Apple is delivering.

    All this adds up to products like iPhones that are essentially throw-away after a fairly short period of time. 
  • Reply 39 of 106
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I care, and so does Arya.
    Mass market does not care. As these devices get smaller and more tightly integrated and cheaper to produce, end-user repairability becomes even more of an edge case than it is today.

    I'm all for shop repairability as long as possible, but I realize that inevitably even this will be less feasible and cost more resources than recycling and replacing.

    Still, it's fun to read about a touted Android device suffering from iFixIt's disdain. 
    1) I don't understand your post. Who suggested that iFixit was for the masses? Anything that delves into technology, like this forum, is only of interest to a very small portion of society.

    2) Repair shops use iFixit's free guides. They're very detailed, even to the point of measuring every single screw that may look exactly the same to the naked eye but is slightly longer or shorter, which could affect a repair. I can't understand why anyone would attack iFixit for taking the time and effort to post these detailed, helpful guides for anyone to use? No one is making you replace your own cracked iPhone display. No one is making you buy their toolkits or replacement parts.

    In the past month I've fixed two iPhone displays (from different models) for friends at a fraction of the cost that Apple would've charged, which I could only do by using iFixit's guides. Have you tried following a YouTube video that shows you how to repair a component? I'm hoping to finally replace my HDD with an SSD in my Mac mini, but if you look at the iFixit guide you'll see this isn't a simple swap. Without having read their guide I may have just dug in there and not realized what an undertaking it will be. Why is that a bad thing?
    I have no idea what you're on about. Sorry. I don't recall mentioning anyone "attacking" iFixIt. 
  • Reply 40 of 106

    foggyhill said:

    avon b7 said:
    Nobody cares, iFixit. You make it sound like anyone cares about repairability except you, which is false. No one cares. Your business must evolve to deal with the changing landscape, or you need to move on altogether. No one should be making products with user-repairability in mind. That is a total waste. I don't want devices that are crippled by that as a priority. 
    I take the opposite view. Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary.
    So let me get this straight -- you're saying the state of the art technology should not be legally allowed to evolve into new formats even smaller and more efficient, if it prevents guys in the back room from being able to work on them? We should halt all technology progress beyond this arbitrary limit, just because? 

    I find this very odd. It's like protecting buggy whip makers. 

    If devices get small and cheaper and reach a point where replacing costs fewer resources than repairing -- let's say everything were integrated into a single chip, which nobody can repair -- that seems to be completely natural. Producing this hypothetical chip would get cheaper over time and require less resources than producing multiple chips and modules. Efficiency is a good thing.
    If that straw man device exists that's fine. But if it cost 1/30 someone's salary they would be mad to have to chuck it regardless. Would be good if a person knew this info in advance so they can decide if they want to buy it

    the AirPod is somewhat the kind of device that mixes a relatively low price with a high component density and low repair ability. In that mix of conditions , it makes sense to chuck one of a pair if it is broken.
    What straw man? Avon said there should laws that prevent technology from developing into a format that cannot be repaired. I find this odd, especially as miniaturization continues. I provided an example -- that some future version of tech is all one chip, or built at the nano level, etc, preventing a guy in a back room from fixing it. I cannot fathom a society that says advancing tech to that point should be banned and asked if that's really what he's saying.

    My examples are hypotheticals today, but will become reality one day. And at that time, replacing will certainly cost fewer resources than repairing. Does anyone repair microprocessors? Or are they just swapped out? Etc. 

    Legislating technology design is certainly not the answer to the perceived problem.


    tmay
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