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

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 106
    lkrupp said:
    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.
    It vaguely reminds me of the lobbying by independent auto dealers associations to prevent Tesla from selling to, and servicing their cars directly with the customer. To nobody's astonishment, the association of middlemen are lobbying state legislatures to require that new cars can only sold through middlemen.
    tmay
  • Reply 42 of 106

    avon b7 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.
    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.
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    edited September 2017 suddenly newtontmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 106
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,717member
    So this phone is really 100% throw away device if anything goes wrong. What I'm trying to figure out is why is this phone so Essential? It'll never be in my life. I'm almost 100% sure I'll know no one who got it, or see one in the wild. Doesn't seem very Essential to me. Nope!!!! What a dumb name. adjective 1. absolutely necessary; extremely important. noun 1. a thing that is absolutely necessary.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 106
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,363member
    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.
    Repair shops had better have the proper equipment to fix things according to manufacturer’s standards. That includes mechanical and electronic test and measuring equipment. In fact, I don’t go to shops that aren’t authorized.  If so, then they can fix these products as well as Apple can, and so this isn’t a problem. If they can’t, tough!

    and there have been articles lately that have related the information that it’s common to get malware from third party installed screen replacements. No thanks!

    i repair electronics myself. But there are times where I can’t get parts, even when I can easily do the work, and calibrate it. So it depends on what’s being repaired. There was the problem with the Touch ID button. It turns out that each button, which includes the sensor and electronics, needs to be paired with the secure enclave in the phone. Unauthorized repair shops didn’t know that, and didn’t have any way to do it if they did know it. Apple was being blamed for the problem even when it wasn’t their fault.

    so this isn’t a simple yes no sort of thing. All I can tell people is that they have choices. Try to find something that’s easily repairable that still meets your needs, or send companies letters stating that you’re unhappy about products becoming unrepairable by the owner. If enough people stop buying the offending products, maybe things will change, but I doubt it.
    tmay
  • Reply 45 of 106
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,363member

    bill42 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. 
    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. 
    Since Apple can do it, it has to be assumed that repair shops, properly equipped, could also do it too. Authorized repair shops are so equipped. Unauthorized ones almost always aren’t. Companies don’t authorize just anyone.
  • Reply 46 of 106

    Mmm...

    I suspect that parts availability and repairability may take on new significance if there is any disruption in manufacturing and assembly of phones...

    Without getting into a political or humanitarian discussion, IMO there is an exposure to this due to the concentration of hi-tech manufacturing and assembly in the Far East -- a current hot spot.
  • Reply 47 of 106
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,363member

    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
    Well, having been a manufacturer, I understand some of this. If a device is unrepairable, then replacement cost are covered in the price. Actuarial tables are used to figure out what percentage of devices may need to be replaced, and that is covered in the price of the device.

    since products are pretty reliable these days, with smartphones having a single digit failure rate, other than from dropping or drowning, that added cost, usually isn’t too high. Nobody covers significant water damage, so that’s usually on the customer anyway. Screen breakage is more serious. As long as the manufacturer takes care of that inexpensively during warrantee, or for an extra year with something like Applecare, or the extra year’s warrantee that many credit cards give us, then that not a problem either. If you keep your phone longer than two years, then that could be a problem. You have to call the credit card company to see if they cover a device for the extra year after the AppleCare warranty is over. AMEX tells me they do for my gold card. So that’s three years. We keep the phones for two.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 48 of 106
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,363member

    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.


    We can agree on that.
  • Reply 49 of 106
    Soli said:
    I received an email this morning from iFixit. The headline was harsh (but not unfair):

    The Essential Phone is essentially a mess



    It should be called The Essential Mess.

    Steve Jobs famously had the original Mac team sign their names on the inside of every Macintosh case (despite the signatures not being visible to most users) because, as Jobs saw it, they were artists, and the Mac's internals were as well designed as its outer case and the software on the screen.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 106
    jbdragon said:
    So this phone is really 100% throw away device if anything goes wrong. What I'm trying to figure out is why is this phone so Essential? It'll never be in my life. I'm almost 100% sure I'll know no one who got it, or see one in the wild. Doesn't seem very Essential to me. Nope!!!! What a dumb name. adjective 1. absolutely necessary; extremely important. noun 1. a thing that is absolutely necessary.
    Heh. I have a friend who chases after every Android "flagship" and gets rid of his old one when it's no longer the flagship. He went from a Note 7 to a LG V6 to S8 and now Note 8. All in the last 12 months. While I'm not claiming that to be typical, he'd probably ditch the Essential Phone when something Android and shinier comes along, which is probably every week LOL.
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 106
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,363member
    I’d like to point out that this isn’t the only recent device that unrepairable. Some much more expensive products fit into that category as well;

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/17/15824670/microsoft-surface-teardown-ifixit-impossible-repair
    tmaymacplusplus
  • Reply 52 of 106
    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.

    This phone looks to be a very bad example. If it is impossible to replace the battery without breaking the unit or leaving it in a worse state than when you began the process, a good idea would be to give it a very healthy warranty.

    If not, you are basically purchasing a time-bomb with a one year delay on the countdown.
    I take an opposite view to your opposite view simply for the fact that having worked in IT for the past 18 years or so I've been the one having to deal with the like of people with your mentality. Those with a little bit of knowledge completely balls it up by getting themselves over their heads and I'm left picking up the pieces. Those with no knowledge are much better because they usually don't go above and beyond to cock it up. There's literally no user replaceable parts in an iPhone anyway. Not even in a Mac to be honest other than RAM and HDD and that's getting less and less with onboard drives and RAM.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 106
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,585member
    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. 

    Hey Mr. Rubin , it's not so easy copying great hardware as it was copying great software.  Lol
    I dunno, sending a new phone out to replace a failed one sounds kinda nice. Why mess with a repair if a customer breaks one while under warranty and the manufacturer is willing to replace with a new unit? Out-of-warranty is on the buyer, so beware, but TBH an Essential Phone buyer gets treated pretty well if they're sending him a new phone instead of insisting on attempting to repair his old one or offering only a refurb'd one in exchange for the new one he bought. 
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 54 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,304member
    gatorguy said:
    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. 

    Hey Mr. Rubin , it's not so easy copying great hardware as it was copying great software.  Lol
    I dunno, sending a new phone out to replace a failed one sounds kinda nice. Why mess with a repair if a customer breaks one while under warranty and the manufacturer is willing to replace with a new unit? Out-of-warranty is on the buyer, so beware, but TBH an Essential Phone buyer gets treated pretty well if they're sending him a new phone instead of insisting on attempting to repair his old one or offering only a refurb'd one in exchange for the new one he bought. 
    Do they send you a new phone before you send in your old phone?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 55 of 106
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,098member
    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.

    That is different discussion, I can appreciate choose not fix something even though I have skills and tools, there are definitely times I do my own work  other times I let someone else do the work. In either case it is not a matter of whether it is easy to repair, I would always want it to be easy which translate to lower repair costs. My none scientific research has shown those who could care less if something is fixable is because they could not do it if their life depended on it. It just amazes me how people can not fix the simplest things. I swear if those people lived 200 yrs ago they would have perished
    Soli
  • Reply 56 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,304member
    It seems like very few commenters actually went to the iFixit page and read the teardown. There are many nice aspects to this device.
  • Reply 57 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,195member

    avon b7 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.
    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.
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
  • Reply 58 of 106
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,195member
    Soli said:
    It seems like very few commenters actually went to the iFixit page and read the teardown. There are many nice aspects to this device.
    I didn't bother because when this article said the phone had to be frozen and they broke the screen getting in, I decided to do other things.

    Now reading your comment, I will flag the article and see if I can find the time to have a look.
  • Reply 59 of 106
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,304member
    avon b7 said:
    You invest a lot in words, but you say very little.

    You asked for legislation to mandate repairability in consumer electronics technology. I argue that's absurd and explain why. But since you're now moving the goal posts per usual and pretending you never did, I'll requote your claim for a legislative measure:

    "Repairability (the user part isn't a must) should be in the design of high priced electronics and be required by legislation if necessary."

    Terrible idea.
    "If necessary"

    I have given you all the context you need.
    1) And what do you think would make legislation necessary?

    2) The context of your comment reads that every manufacturer should make their devices easy to repair or we should move create laws that force them to, hence the "if necessary" part.
    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 60 of 106
    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.

    This phone looks to be a very bad example. If it is impossible to replace the battery without breaking the unit or leaving it in a worse state than when you began the process, a good idea would be to give it a very healthy warranty.

    If not, you are basically purchasing a time-bomb with a one year delay on the countdown.
    The market response to that kind of bullshit legislation is, "Fine we don't have to make you anything then."

    What absurd liberal nonsense. Don't buy the product if you, in your amateur opinion, don't like some aspect of it. 
    watto_cobra
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