Dave Mark, writing at The Loop:
Not sure how big the audience for right-to-repair is, but I do
count myself in its number. And if it was easier to do, I suspect
that number would be much larger. Imagine if repairing a cracked
display was a simple, five minute operation. Wouldn’t you rather
order the new display and make the swap yourself?
It used to be relatively easy to customize and repair your gear.
As parts have given way to part assemblies (glued/soldered
assemblies that become a single replaceable requirement, even if a
single part fails) and the quest for smaller makes devices harder
to open, harder to take apart, the ability to repair your own gear
has become harder, almost impossible.
So those small numbers John points out are real. But should this
be the way it is? Again, wouldn’t you love the ability to swap out
a display as easily as you used to be able to swap out RAM on your
Ideally, many people would still like to be able to swap out RAM on today’s Macs as easily as we could on old Macs. Same thing for SSD storage. Adding RAM and storage, years after purchase, was a great way to significantly extend the practical lifetime of Macs. A while back (15 years ago?) I replaced the spinning hard drive in a 15-inch PowerBook with an SSD, and it was like buying a brand-new much faster machine.
But: times change. Apple hasn’t moved away from user replaceable memory and storage components out of spite. Integrating memory and storage into the chips themselves is the reason why devices have gotten thinner and lighter and much, much faster. The incredible performance of Apple silicon — for both iOS devices and Macs — is part and parcel with integrating memory and storage directly onto the SoCs.
And in terms of replacing screens on iPhones, consider waterproofing and device aesthetics. To my knowledge, no company makes a mainstream smartphone with an easily-replaced display, because a smartphone with an easily replaced screen wouldn’t sell because of all the design trade-offs that would be involved.
★ Friday, 19 November 2021