back to article iPad Air peels off in racy pics for wide-eyed geeks, reveals 'worst battery ever

According to the teardown fanatics at iFixit, Apple's new iPad Air is twice as easy to repair as Microsoft's equally new Surface 2 – which received an as-low-as-you-can-go repairability rating of 1 out of a possible 10. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that the iPad Air is only one small step away from being as …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there anybody who approves of this?

    The apparent trend to permanently seal devices with glue and other PITA fastenings needs to be stopped. Regulars round here will know that I think tree-huggers should be burned as a renewable fuel, but on this one I suspect there's common cause between technofiles and the environmental lobby.

    Whether for service or recycling, it is unforgiveable to see this sort of penny pinching that guarantees a one way trip to landfill, regardless of the label on the outside. Designers should be smart enough to know that more regulation won't help them, but things like simply invite it. Hint to law makers: Make sure you hit corporate margins, not end user prices, please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

      How often do you take your phone or tablet apart?

      What about your TV, your washing machine? they're appliances not desktop computers.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        How often do you take your phone or tablet apart?

        If it's broken? Pretty regularly. I'll happily rip a gadget to pieces if I can fix it myself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          Then you're either clumsy or careless?

          I also will take stuff apart, but I've never had to take a phone or tablet apart for years.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          Yeah and how often is that possible and how many people would. Suspect we are in the 1% range here.

          The point is Apple will fix the stuff for you or there will be plenty of 3rd party companies willing and able to do it.

      2. nanchatte
        FAIL

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        How often? I've taken more than 10 iPhone 4S devices apart and replaced screens, batteries, buttons and scratched/dented bezels. Piece of cake if a little fiddly. But an iPad with a cracked screen was a biatch to repair and I vowed never again real quick. I told subsequent people to take theirs back to Apple.

        Thus their (marketing) policy works..,

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          Getting Apple to fix it is not really a problem. Let's see the new Applecare Plus includes 2 incidents over 2 years of accidental damage - so smash your screen, take it back and they fix it (replace the phone probably) for the insurance excess (think around £50).

          A family member had a damaged / faulty iPhone 4 completely replaced out of warranty for about £125 - yes you could buy the parts yourself and find someone to fit them and hope they are genuine parts (unlikely) or at least decent copies but you always run that risk that they are not. I would personally not use non-original batteries on a device that lives in my pocket a lot of the time and sits on charge about 2 feet from my head while I am sleeping!

      3. cortland

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        TV never; I threw mine out years ago. Washing machine, more recently. It's amazing how long an appliance will work when one can replace moving parts.

        WRT IT... I've been in the manufacturing R&D side of electronics for 30 years, though now only part time as I as trying to retire, and while once upon a time I had to repair laptops under test to continue testing, for my own now, if they're cheap enough to replace, I don't need to.

        Desktops and towers are another story; easy-peasy.

        ARE Surface et amici cheap enough? That depends how often they need repair, doesn't it?

      4. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        "How often do you take your phone or tablet apart?"

        Even if you never do, wouldn't you prefer a technician to be able to open it and swap some insignificant (or significant, for that matter) broken part in a matter of minutes and at a cost or a few currency units, rather than throw away the whole device?

        To say nothing about planned upgradability.

        1. Tomato42

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          @T. F. M. Reader: don't bother, he's buying Apple gear already, open source arguments won't work on him

        2. henrydddd

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          I own an Android and think nothing of it. 5 min and its done. Most of my friends with Androids also think nothing about changing a battery. Batteries can be worn out in as little as two year. I cant imagine anyone who would pay the high price of an Apple-whatever and having to throw it away after only two years. But then i guess that some have a lot more money than i do

        3. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          Company planned UNupgradability: Apple, and some other vendors design these devices to be difficult or impossible to upgrade to ensure a market for the new devices to be issued in a year or two.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        "How often do you take your phone or tablet apart?"

        Not often. But just dismantled the wife's Nexus to stick in a new screen and digitiser after accident damage. If that were glued up then it would have been a throw away.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          If that was a iPad Air with Applecare+ you would have taken it back to Apple and paid £39 and got a new one - end of. Don't what the out of warranty cost is but a family member just got their 4 or 4S replaced for about £120.

      6. Lars Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        There was a time when it was possible to repair TVs, washing machines and phones on the spot. Today we have cars where you cannot change a light bulb on the road, instead you have to take the whole front of the car apart and pay a hell of a lot for that one damned bulb. That is an intentional scum and as far as I know the EU is trying to do something about it. Newer by a car where you cannot change a bulb by yourself. My opinion of a cell phone where you cannot change the battery is similar, it's a scum too.

      7. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        To replace the battery? About once a year, though in my case, the only tools I need are a couple of fingernails.

      8. DaneB

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        Washing machines are quite regularly fixed, no?

      9. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        Well, I had to take my washing machine apart just a few weeks ago, to replace a door seal £25 including P&P . If you suggesting that they should be designed just like Apple Ipads - throw then away and spend another £800 instead of £25? Are you mad ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

      Yes. Me. It may not have occured to you but glue is lighter than any fastener that would stand the strain.

      I have no interest in repairability. I am typing this on a water damaged ipad2 (don't ask) that is about to be replaced by a new shiny shiny. The fact that I cannot repair it does not bother me one tiny little bit. Far easier to simply buy a new one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        If we move back to homegrown production and higher prices then perhaps things will have to last longer and be more upgradable or repairable?

        But technology moves on fast and people do tend to get used to things being chuckable.

        Earlier today I replaced the battery in my Braun electric toothbrush. It required some disassembly, desoldering and soldering. The only reason I could open the thing was due to it being designed to be recycled. It's lasted me about 5 years, so it's not done too badly. But I refuse to buy another one simply because the battery is aging.

        But that is just a toothbrush, I can't imagine one I would buy now being anymore advanced?

      2. hplasm
        Gimp

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        "...but glue is lighter than any fastener that would stand the strain."

        If Apple was as smart as they like people to think they are, then they would design clips to hold everything together that are part of the case and fittings, strong and light, and would be seen as elegant solutions.

        Instead- bodge it with glue like a 4-year old's macaroni picture.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

      The question is not "is making it hard to repair a bad thing" but "do the gains of making it this hard to repair outweigh the problems".

      It's not my specialist subject, but could they make the thing as light, slim and resilient using more accessible fastenings (i.e. screws and stuff)?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

      So don't buy such devices if you're one of those who will actually take it apart and try to repair it yourself. 99% of the public will not, even if they own some other brand of tablet that scored a 10/10 for repairability.

      Not being able to repair it yourself != it is not repairable. Just means you have to take it to Apple or pay someone to do the same who has the proper tools and know-how.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        "Not being able to repair it yourself != it is not repairable. Just means you have to take it to Apple or pay someone to do the same who has the proper tools and know-how."

        Well my daughter broke the screen of her Sony laptop and those with the "proper tools and know-how" told me there is no problem at all except it will be cheaper to by a new one.

        1. Jess--

          Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

          laptop screens are a doddle

          tools required = small phillips screwdriver + stanley knife blade (it's thin & strong enough to release the clips around the edge and its wide enough to leave no mark)

          most desktop screens need the same tools.

      2. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        Fair enough, I won't then. I've repaired an iPhone 3G before as they're fairly easy to disasemble (and replacing the screen on one myself was FAR cheaper than getting Apple to do it). Other than that, I'll stick with my Samsung phone which has a user-replaceable battery and an iFixit score of 9/10. At least I know if I drop it that replacing the screen is possible.

        And even if I can't do it myself, the higher the iFixit score, the cheaper it's likely to be for a 3rd party repairer to do the job. Take an iPad Air to the guy on the market and I bet half of them will just refuse these days.

    5. chrisyu

      Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

      can't hit corporate margins without hitting end user prices. End user price is where margins come from. Unless you want to eliminate the regulated market we now have.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        "can't hit corporate margins without hitting end user prices."

        Ultimately yes. But if there's an additonal cost associated with non-serviceable products, then the company has to consider whether it wants that as extra margin, or will pay the cost. Broadly speaking most devices made by most makers aren't price setters, and the price is set by what the market will pay. In that case a corporate tax is not a readily passed on cost, even though it is ultimately out of customer's pockets. The point then is that with a more serviceable product the company would charge the same, but keep more of the income.

      2. Lars Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        " the regulated market" ??????????

    6. A n o n y m o u s

      Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

      Worst battery every - really. So let's see you can engineer a device to use a smaller battery more efficiently and get branded 'worst battery ever' or you can take the alternate route of fitting more and more cores in a desperate bid for performance and having to stick a much larger battery in the device.

      Suspect the reason a lot of (non Apple) devices are getting larger screens is more about being able to hide a larger battery behind them while not actually improving their efficiency.

      Bottom line is Apple have fitted a 64-bit, potentially much faster CPU, slimmed the device down and made it much lighter while keeping the same battery life (which was already great) - sounds pretty good to me.

      1. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        Can I offer the suggestion that it's not the actual battery itself that the iFixit guy is complaining about, but the way that it's been fixed to the case with half a ton of glue? Perhaps half a ton of glue where a couple of screws or a couple of small blobs of glue would have been equally sufficient?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

        "Bottom line is Apple have fitted a 64-bit, potentially much faster CPU, slimmed the device down and made it much lighter while keeping the same battery life (which was already great) - sounds pretty good to me."

        I can't quite tell whether you are inferring that being 64-bit make a CPU "potentially much faster". I hope you aren't. But just in case anyone reads this post and makes that assumption. Being 64 bit actually has a nasty habit of making things significantly slower. The only reason to need a 64 bit CPU is if you are running out of address space due to your process size going over 4GB.

        Why does 64 bit slow you down? Well, firstly the executable size is bigger. This is obvious because everywhere you refer to a memory location in your code, you take up twice the space for it. Secondly, the process size is bigger for the same reason. What this means is that your use of processor cache (L1, L2, L3, etc.) is much less efficient.

        64 bit is not necessarily better.

    7. DaneB
      Mushroom

      Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?

      The real issue is the poor Chinese buggers who sweat to make these shiny gadgets that everyone loves. Immoral to the core.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recyclable not landfillable

    The use of glue does not stop it being recycled

    1. Steve Todd Silver badge

      Re: Recyclable not landfillable

      The use of glue makes it EASIER to recycle. You can put batches into an oven to melt the glue rather than having to manually unscrew the mounts.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Recyclable not landfillable

        Most modern industrial adhesives are complex and chemically unpleasant so while you are wasting energy toasting them in an oven you are also releasing nasty stuff into the atmosphere making that kind of recycling more unlikely or at least less efficient. Undoing a few screws to strip down a scrap item on the other hand is pretty easy if you don't have to worry about putting it back together.

        For the fanbois, I am criticising Microsoft for their use of glues too but if you really want to down vote me knock yourself out.

        Really! knock yourself out!

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Recyclable not landfillable

          Most recycling is like this anyway:

          1) Collect at (govnmt-run) recycling center

          2) Put into large container

          3) Ship to "recycler" in China

          4) Recycler puts container contents into the ground while collecting money

          5) Ship empty container back to recycling center

          It's about California-style guilt abatment. One can then complain how China is evil and how communismcapitalism exploits poor workers etc.

          California's Top Exports to China: Waste and Scrap on second place (via "China's Cap On American Garbage: Pseudo-Environmental States Impacted Most")

          One day people will probably have to use thermonuclear devices to fuse all the crap into a mass of radioactive slag that can be resaonable forgotten about.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Recyclable not landfillable

          The Reg is so lucky to have a large number of consumer, manufacturing and recycling expert amongst their readership. It's also really nice to know that they are totally representative of the marketplace. I'm going to cancel my subscription to Which? magazine immediately. Why bother paying for something when I get the advice and opinions of so many experts for free here.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Recyclable not landfillable

            And why are you subscribed to "Which?" in the first place?

      2. picturethis
        Mushroom

        Re: Recyclable not landfillable

        Do you know what happens when you heat Lithium-ion (rechargable) batteries?

        They go BOOM!

        Have you ever read the warnings on devices that contain rechargeable batteries that use lithium - don't heat or dispose of in fire.

        I would suggest that putting them in an oven is the very last thing that you want to do.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Recyclable not landfillable

          "I would suggest that putting them in an oven is the very last thing that you want to do."

          Or indeed, the third to last thing you ever WILL do (followed quickly by screaming and dying, of course)

          1. Steve Todd Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Recyclable not landfillable

            Ovens are things of variable temperature. You don't need to dial them up to 1000 degrees to melt glue. Depending on the glues uses you don't even need to hit 100 degrees C. iFixit themselves use a heat gun to soften glue mounted parts, and no, at these temperatures Lithium cells are not going to explode.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Recyclable not landfillable

      I see that some folks on here have a different opinion of what "recyclable" means than I do. To me, recyclable means that it can be used by someone else, either as it is or with some refurbishment, or that the components can be easily removed locally and passed on. It doesn't mean being able to ship it to whichever country will reduce it to its component bits. Most of my tech comes to me second-hand, and always has done. For instance, I love Lenovo notebooks because they are rugged, easily fixed, and sold by companies after two or three years so I can pick up mature tech for a fraction of the cost. The only phones I ever bought new were my first and my current, though fiveof the hand-me-downs from contract-paying relatives are in still in use - two in the car (my Nokia 5210 doing a great job as a sat-nav, and one ancient blue Nokia (can't remember the designation) and a Sony Ericksson as backup phones because they both have better reception than my Note - useful in the back of beyond on a rally), another Nokia my wife won't let go of, and an Siemens that we use abroad because it doesn't matter if it gets lost/stolen/damaged. All of them are in fair condition and could be passed on to others if necessary. That is recyclable.

      If there is a case to be made, I will consider a tablet, but it looks as if it will be an earlier one that can reasonably taken apart to change consumables - batteries - easily. To have hard-to-change consumables, as someone else mentioned in the context of car light-bulbs, is criminal.

  3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

    "they're appliances"

    Well, that makes it alright then.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    The point is

    The battery life of these things is probably less than that of the tablet itself so when you come to the end of the batteries life you will be forced to either dump the thing or go to a dealer who allegedly will know how to replace them and who probably will charge you double what you could get the batteries for on the net were they changeable in the way that most phone batteries are .

    The same goes for repair, an owner will not be able to exercise their right to choose who should repair a piece of their property they will be obliged once again to go to a dealer.

    This is protectionist retailing and in Europe is arguably illegal since it goes against fair trade, there are few good technical reasons why items should be assembled in this way, particularly in the case of Apple who could hardly be accused of having to pare down costs in order to offer their goods at a knock down price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The point is

      Apple will replace the battery on iPhones or iPads - not sure about an iPad but think it's about £50 for an iPhone which is not all that bad considering it's a genuine manufacturer part, fitted by them and probably means the phone is good for another 2-3 years+.

      I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either...

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: The point is

        Fixit were able to take it apart, that means any number of people running little kiosks and shops can do the same. The fixit guys aren't magicians... and they presumably only tried on one unit. Someone running a business of replacing your battery will do this hundreds of times and get VERY good at it.

        1. Pookietoo
          Facepalm

          Re: Fixit were able to take it apart

          You'll note that their final picture is of a pile of bits, not a reassembled and working tablet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fixit were able to take it apart

            @Pookietoo

            That is always my first thought whenever I see one of these "teardowns". So these things are destined for landfill and that's a bad thing. But taking a brand new, working thing apart and thereby rendering it useless is somehow not a bad thing. Do they re-use the pile of junk they have created? Or is it quietly sent to landfill but with a superior and lofty attitude that makes it OK?

            I'm all for repairability, however I can't help but be reminded of this quote:

            “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

            1. Michael Thibault

              Re: Fixit were able to take it apart

              “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

              Or, the hacker's variation:

              Who breaks a thing to find out what it may be travels the path of wisdom.

            2. Greg J Preece

              Re: Fixit were able to take it apart

              Do they re-use the pile of junk they have created?

              Isn't the point of the exercise to find out whether they can?

      2. Greg J Preece

        Re: The point is

        I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either...

        But you can replace the battery, surely? Or swap out a wheel when you get a flat? Or change the oil?

        No-one's asking to be able to completely disassemble the motherboard and replace the A7 (the correct comparison to a car engine), just to be able to have some serviceable parts, especially the low cost ones that fail most often.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The point is

          Batteries do not fail often - I have 5 year old laptops still original batteries, iPhone 3GS (over 4 years old) on original battery, iPad 1 yes you guessed it - original battery. When they do fail the device is likely to be EOL anyway or I will pay Apple to replace it.

      3. NogginTheNog

        I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either..

        There's a good reason for that: it's complex, dangerous, labour-intensive, and requires specialist tools.

        Replacing a battery that's designed to be removed isn't any of those things. Sadly however I realise that for a modern device the extra cost, weight, and probably most importantly the space taken up by making it removable, count against them more and more.

        1. Not That Andrew

          Re: I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either..

          I've seen engines replaced with no more specialist tools than a couple of jacks, a set of spanners, a socket wrench, a mallet, a rope, muscle power and a lot of swearing (and helped once).

          Granted, I wouldn't like to do it like that on a modern car with an engine management system, but they are still relatively easy to replace.

          1. Tufty Squirrel

            Re: I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either..

            >> I wouldn't like to do it like that on a modern car with an engine management system,

            No more difficult than any other car engine. Disconnect electrical bits, remove ancilliaries, unfasten engine, remove.

      4. Simon Westerby 1

        Re: The point is

        No, but you can replace the "battery" ... *sigh*

      5. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: The point is

        "it's a genuine manufacturer part"

        Well yes, given that their are not too many batteries in this world NOT manufactured by ...erm... manufacturer's.

        or were you trying to suggest that Apple hand manufacture special iThing batteries in their US based manufacturing complex?

      6. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: The point is

        "I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either..."

        Actually, you can if you remove the correct bolts then winch it out. That's because your engine is held in place with nuts/bolts and not with glue. Hence with the right spanners and time, you can remove and re-insert your engine as many times as you like without any damage at all. Just because you don't want to doesn't mean it's not possible.

        With an iShiny though (or a Surface, or an HTC One for that matter), the risk of damaging it due to the copious amounts of glue means it's a very difficult task indeed.

      7. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: The point is @AC 20.38 Friday

        Not being able to change the battery in a gadget is like not being able to fill up the petrol tank when it is empty, not like changing an engine ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The point is

      Apple will replace the batteries in iPads and iPhones - think it's about £50 on an iPhone but I know people with iPad version 1 and the original batteries are still going strong.

      Remember most of these cells are good for around 1000 FULL discharge cycles and even then still have 70-80% of original capacity remaining. Now an iPad battery lasts 10 hours and suspect most people would be hard pressed to actually use it (on battery) for 10 hours a day - most likely they discharge / recharge fully the equivalent of 1-2 times per week.

      So 2 full discharged per week = 500 weeks to get to your 1000 full discharge cycles. 500 weeks is the best part of 10 years. Now the batteries may not actually last that long - they may deteriorate due to age as well as number of cycles but I'm betting most iPad batteries will be good for a least 5-7 years.

      1. Aitor 1

        Re: The point is

        Sorry but you are wrong.

        1: Li-Ion batteries DO NOT last 1000 Full dischager cycles. You shouldn't fully discharge a lithium battery, you are damaging it (BTW: phone batteries are protected, you can't fully discharge them, still, recharge as soon as possible).

        2. Calendar capacity loss. At room temperature, yearly capacity loss ranges from 20% to 5%. Not counting charge cycles.

        A half discharged battery at room temparture (ie: not charging & using) in 5 years will have arround 51% percent capacity from calendar year loss alone.

        If you actually use it, counting 50% loss at 400 charges, you would have arround 20% capacity at 5 years.

        Of course, at that point, you would have to charge the battery almost daily, if it works at all.

        Even if they really accepted 1000 charges at 25% capacity loss, you would have less than 40% battery capacity by the fifth year, probably arround 30%.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The point is

          By full discharge I meant what would actually happen - i.e. use it until the battery meter gets to zero or near zero - when the battery protection electronics will not allow it to be discharged to it's theoretical maximum.

          I do not accept this calendar capacity loss at 51% over 5 years - it's certainly nothing I have experienced to that extent with Apple batteries. I accept batteries lose capacity from both time and use but I have 4-5 year old MacBooks and a iPhone 3GS (4+ years old) and I'd say their capacity is still nearer 75%+. Before you say it - no - I've not removed the cell and analysed it's actual capacity and perhaps newer OSs are more efficient but the 3GS gets about the same use and by the end of the day still has 10-40% charge left depending on how much use it had that day.

          It also depends on the quality of the cells and their chemistry - some lithium chemistries (for example LiFEPO4) is tolerant to many more (effective full) cycles - i.e. 2000 cycles.

      2. daddyd01

        Re: The point is

        Ok. Currently, the exchange rate for £50 to US$ comes out to $79.66. I can purchase, from Amazon, a genuine Apple OEM replacement battery for a total, including shipping, of $4.85

        This means Apple "Genius Bar" is charging at least $75 labor to change a damned iPhone battery, that I can change, if I were so inclined, to sully my hands even touching an Apple product.

        I make certain, before I decide on purchasing a mobile phone, laptop, and pretty much most rechargeable devices, that the batteries are consumer replaceable, WITHOUT TOOLS! Every one of the several mobile phones I, and my wife, have owned, have had easily accessible, replaceable batteries. Same for our laptops. My Motorola ORIGINAL Droid mobile was used by me until it died. 5+ years, with one battery replacement at a cost of $3.85 for a new OEM unit off eBay. My wife still uses her Droid, now over 6 years, with the second battery that I had. I now have a Galaxy S3. Same type battery configuration. Pop the back off , pull the battery, put another in, pop the back on. 5 year old non Apple laptop, slide the battery locking latch off, pull the battery, slide the replacement battery back in which locks itself. My total cost, for a new, higher capacity 9 cell battery was $22. The new Mac laptops cost you $200 to have the "Genius bar" disassemble it, replace the battery, then reassemble it. No thanks for an already grossly overpriced product.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The point is Apple devices typically last a long time - you probably bin 2 Android devices for 1 iOS one (on average), Apple will fix their devices even out of warranty and when they do reach the end of their life will recycle them properly.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      You want to cite some sources for that, or are you just pulling numbers out of your butt?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Graham Dawson - "You want to cite some sources for that, or are you just pulling numbers out of your butt?"

        -----------------------

        Considering he's an AC posting on tech websites for $7 an hour from a shared telemarketer's booth in Cupertino, I'd say it's the "numbers out of his butt" thing.

        1. armster
          Flame

          So what did Google say about Android

          I just read that Google won't support the galaxy nexus on kitkat since it is older than 18 months. So you should throw an android out after less than two years. No need to replace the batteries. At least Apple still supports the iPhone4 with iOS7. Much more important to me than how easy it is to replace the battery.

          1. Greg J Preece

            Re: So what did Google say about Android

            So you should throw an android out after less than two years

            Yes, that's what they implied by saying they wouldn't put Kit-Kat on the phone. In fact, if you can't get Kit-Kat on your phone, it instead downloads an update that makes it explode, so best to throw it away first. There's no possible way it could keep working otherwise.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So what did Google say about Android

            @ar,ster - "At least Apple still supports the iPhone4 with iOS7. Much more important to me than how easy it is to replace the battery."

            Yes, too bad that Google isn't forcing a "My Little Pony" interface on all users of older Androids:

            http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/3089/palettew.jpg

          3. Dr?

            Re: So what did Google say about Android

            " At least Apple still supports the iPhone4 with iOS7."

            Minus half its features.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So what did Google say about Android

              The iPhone 4 still supports all of the features it had out of the box when it was released 3 years ago. It has some new ones too, admittedly not all, but there was no feature regression as you suggest. The Nexus S I have from the same period doesn't work at all. When Jelly bean landed on it, things got considerably worse. You'll note too that Google/Samsung stopped supporting the Nexus S 18 months ago. At the time it was touted as a better device. It doesn't look that way now. Of course, only Apple fuck consumers; Google would never do such a thing...

          4. ratfox Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: So what did Google say about Android

            "At least Apple still supports the iPhone4 with iOS7"

            Well, yes, kind of. My own iPhone4 under iOS7 is definitively sluggish though. Safari crashes at least once a day, more often when I visit heavy web sites.

            1. TimT999

              Re: So what did Google say about Android

              You have a phone that's 3 generations back -- an eternity in the smart phone landscape. And given the huge amount of dev that's gone into the iOS in those years, of course a phone that ancient will be sluggish. The point remains that few other phone makers support phones more than 1 generation old let alone 3.

              1. pepper

                Re: So what did Google say about Android

                His point is that the Apple IOS7 update made his phone worse, thats not called support you know.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well I'd say almost every Android user I know upgrades their phone every 18-24 months as their contract comes to an end. Some of my iPhone owning colleagues do as well but many go onto SIM only contracts and carry on using the phone - still see a lot of 3GS and 4/4S in use.

  6. Adair Silver badge

    Regardless of the facts...

    about repairability and longevity the fact remains that if you buy from Apple you are being gouged blind. Rather less so by other manufacturers.

    Most of us seldom seem to keep our phones much beyond the contract period. There seems good reason to imagine that most people won't keep their slabs for much longer than two or three years either; assuming they haven't already dropped it down the bog, or had it trodden on by a stampeding heard of children, or written off by whoever is intent on finding some plausible excuse for replacing it with the latest shiny.

    1. William Donelson

      Re: Regardless of the facts...

      My two year old iPad 3 (WiFi only, in superb condition), which I bought USED for £300, is priced at about £250 give or take a bit on eBay UK. Amazing.

      Most Apple products have amazing re-sale value. I sold a two year old MacMini for 80% of the purchase price last spring, and an EIGHT year old dual G4 for £300 a year ago.

      By contrast, I have a Dell PC with 20" monitor and 8GB RAM which sells for about £75 on eBay UK. Crappy really.

      No one ever notes that the high price of Apple products is returned in large part when you are done.

      Note: I use PCs (Windows 7 only now), Macs, iPads, iPhones, and (currently) six different Android devices every day (custom Apps), so this is not bull. I like Windows 7 (5 out of 10 rating), but OSX more (7 out of 10 now with Mavericks). I like Android (6 out of 10), but iOS more (8 out of 10).

      The consistency of Apple products for App development is 3x - 4x less frustration than trying to anticipate the 100 forks of Android, not to mention the 100 screen sizes etc. And profit from Apple products is 5-10x better than with Android.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Regardless of the facts...

      Many, many Apple users keep their stuff for years and sen if they don't it's resold / passed on. Friend has a 3GS - still works absolutely fine 4 years on - know loads of people with iPad 1 and still using it day in day out. The fact is the stuff lasts longer and has a better resale value - so even if the initial purchase cost is higher the cost of ownership is the same or less I expect.

      Applecare Plus now includes accidental damage (2 incidents in 2 years with an excess of around £50 I believe on an iPhone) for the warranty and insurance it's a pretty good deal and about less hassle ownership.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Regardless of the facts...

      Most of the top end Galaxy phones are hardly any cheaper than iPhones - made out of cheaper materials, support is not as good and resale value is less / non-existent and you typically need to replace it sooner. So you could perhaps get away with an iPhone is more expensive to buy but look at TCO and it may be cheaper to own over it's lifetime.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Regardless of the facts...

        I don't know. At least you can replace the battery on these things. Plus they have memory card slots.

  7. William Donelson

    I gave up years ago and use AppleCare now. Awesome!

    No worries, just great service. They will even pick up the item from my door, including emails about the pickup hour.

    Before I would take stuff to an Apple store, but I no longer have a car, so AppleCare peace-of-mind is worth the money, honestly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Applecare is definitely awesome - software and hardware warranty - really good and helpful support from people who actually know the kit and give a damn.

      Android users just don't get it - I had a Samsung until it developed a fault about 2 months after purchase - yes they would take it back but it would be a 3 week turn-around and I would get a refurbished unit back (so why the 3 weeks wait??).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Applecare is a damned if you do, damned if you don't affair really. This time I took it out precisely because of the sealed in battery issue. My old Pro used to guzzle a battery every 60 cycles Apple were not interested in despite those batteries being supposed to be good for hundreds of cycles. Was told by a friend with a similar problem that Applecare bent over backwards to help him.

      So you end up paying extra to get the warranty service you'd hope for by default.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The standard warranty is very good - with Applecare it's exceptional - certainly compared to it's competitors.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      So, if reliability, customer service and warranty at any cost are so important, why aren't all you Apple fans driving Rolls-Royce or Bentley? They also provide excellent service for lots of money.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love fanbois. They're so funny. One minute telling us all how fantastic, well built and reliable Apple kit is, the next they're regaling us with tales of how brilliant Apple's service is when the kit breaks down. Repeatedly.

    Bless 'em.

    1. BobMckenna

      That's because no one even comes close to their customer service numbers. Period.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

        But, if you think that paying £1500 for a laptop, paying extra for an extended warranty, and think it's fantastic that that £1500 breaks down and needs repairing within 3 years, well, I feel sorry for you.

        Typed on my 4 year old £350 Acer that's never seen the inside of a service centre.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well done. Have a sweety.

  9. chrisyu

    who cares how repairable it is? as long as it is replaced under warrantee. Besides these products are obsolete in 3 years. Personally I'd rather see a fully potted product if it improved durability. Buy a replacement insurance policy to cover major damage.

    Ever hear of the disposable society?

    1. Greg J Preece

      Ever hear of the disposable society?

      You know most people see that as a bad thing, right?

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      "Ever hear of the disposable society?"

      One that will be disposed eventually?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's always going to be some limit to repairability

    Let's take a hypothetical iPad where the screen, battery, and logic boards are all screwed together and easily interchangeable. Are we then going to start complaining that all the chips aren't socketed, so if one goes bad we have to replace the entire board?

    Why does anybody need to disassemble an iPad anyway? If the screen breaks, then it doesn't matter if you break it some more when replacing it. I would expect the logic board to work for 30+ years. That leaves the battery. And frankly, Apple batteries aren't the sort of lithium-ion batteries that came with cheap Dell laptops in the early 2000s that wouldn't hold a useful charge after ~2 years. Apple claims that after 1000 charge cycles (i.e., 10 hours/day of unplugged use every day for 3 years) the battery will STILL hold at least an 80% charge, and I see no reason not to believe that claim. I gave my mom my original iPad, which she uses frequently, and its battery life is indistinguishable from the day it was new. I expect it to work just fine for many more years, after which it will be thoroughly obsolete and even the biggest repairability nut would suggest she get a newer device.

    1. Mephistro

      Batteries: (was Re: There's always going to be some limit to repairability)

      Don't know about iPads, but I've seen two Macbook Air units with their batteries bulging after one or two years. In both units the bulging caused problems also in the touch pads and, needless to say, the battery life was shit by then. One of the machines was under its guarantee period, so Apple fixed it quickly and free; the other one, not so much. When I was researching the issue I read about many similar cases, intermixed with complaints about diminishing battery life.

      My point is that with the -quite habitual- shenanigans with random batches of batteries failing, making it difficult to swap a broken battery doesn't seem to be too user friendly. Ditto for other components, like memories and SSDs.

  11. Jean-Paul

    So

    It is £79 standard procedure to have your iPad battery replaced.

    I've looked for my nexus 7 2013 and galaxy tab 10. Other than some DIY movies to crack open the device and still spend £40 at least on a third party battery, and requiring special tools that most won't have laying around. I see very little direct manufacturer info when I google on how to get them to do it.

    Hmm I quite like the open and upfront apple approach for this. And I don't have to damage my device.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So

      Third party batteries are a whole minefield in themselves. You go to all the effort of replacing the battery in a device like a Tom Tom and find the device dies again within 3 months as he seemingly good quality battery is a dud. You hadn't even cheaped out and gone for the 5 quid Ebay battery, but got the expensive battery from a seemingly legit supplier.

    2. pepper

      Re: So

      Jean-Paul, have you looked a the website from which we are discussing the article right now, and which is frequently mentioned on The Register?

      No? I have, took me 30 seconds to find your device: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Nexus+7+Battery+Replacement/9895

      Enjoy! Also, those tools dont strike me a 40$ tools, maybe someone is trying to scam you?

  12. 080

    iFans are rediculously rich!

    By what I glean from reading the Postings of Fanbois in the Register, iFans are fabulously rich and much brighter than the rest of us so repair of their toys does not interest them.

    Now what is the repairability score for my Nexus7?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iFans are rediculously rich!

      And fandroids a tight arsed, self-entitled know-it-all bores. Wow! I didn't know it was this much fun to make wild and sweeping generalisations!

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: iFans are rediculously rich!

        There are one too many "g"s in your name, Regtard ...

  13. N2 Silver badge

    They should be ashamed

    Apple certainly trumpets about preserving the environment in its branding, but this is nothing short of a pack of lies if the product cant be repaired easily. I would assume the same for Microsoft who are equally culpable with their surface thingy.

    I personally believe that anything manufactured should have a 'repair ability index' or criteria that it must meet or exceed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They should be ashamed

      Repairability and being environmentally friendly may be related but they aren't the same thing. How do you know the iPad isn't exquisitely recyclable?

  14. GrumpyOldMan

    Me too...

    I rip stuff apart all the time. Mostly out of curiosity to see what's under there, but my Samsung Series 7 Slate has just dropped out of warranty, so I'm popping it open, binning the 64GB mSATA and whacking in 250GB of storage goodness. With a big speed increase to boot. (To boot! ..... Geddit? Oh never mind... I do parties y'know.) Can't upgrade the RAM unfortunately. Runs W7 effortlessly. Hasn't been infected with W8, but might try OpenSuSE or Mint on it though. With 250GB I can dual boot

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    planned obsolescence

    Some people here may be confusing Apple with a company that doesn't want to sell as many products as they can to maximise their profit. If you can't repair it, you have to do without or replace it - which increases sales and profits. It's called 'planned obsolescence'.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: planned obsolescence

      Perhaps Apple has worked out that it is cheaper to replace broken stuff with new kit. The logistics are easier than repair and Apple margins are fat enough to do this, no or few questions asked.

      Not much fun for third party repair companies though.

    2. Mephistro

      Re: planned obsolescence

      " If you can't repair it, you have to do without or replace it - which increases sales and profits."

      ... till the punters get the hint and stop buying kit from the company. There has to be a balance between making profits and pissing off customers, and when a company ignores this, it will end up regretting its error. In my opinion, selling expensive and unrepairable/unupgradable devices falls south of that balance point. Far south.

  16. csumpi

    who the fugg cares about repairability?

    you dropped 500 on a shiny toy. that you don't need. if it breaks, you can drop another 500, which you would do in a couple months anyway.

    stop this idiocy about repairability. nobody gives a fugg.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: who the fugg cares about repairability?

      Re: "nobody gives a fugg."

      Uh, did you happen to read many of the posts above yours? Plenty of people "give a fugg." Just because you don't doesn't mean that nobody does.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: who the fugg cares about repairability?

        @ac 15:38 - Some people care but debating the issue is pointless. If you care, buy something you can repair but understand that a large number of us simply don't care and no amount of downvoting will change that. To give a personal perspective, I will invest time in learning to fix things that are either expensive/rare/important enough to make it worth my time.

        Phones and tablets are part of the large number of things that do not fall into this category. I consider them disposable consumer goods that I will happily replace when necessary.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: who the fugg cares about repairability? @Nicho

          Learn to give a fugg. These things are real problems for the world, not like CO2.

  17. Sam Adams the Dog

    About those guitar picks....

    Will Fender Heavies do, or do I have to slim down to Mediums? (Just askin'....)

  18. Gary Bickford

    My brilliant idea - use radio-softened glue throughout

    I agree that most people aren't going to want to take theirs apart, and fasteners (e.g. screws, tabs, etc.) would require thicker == heavier plastic components. But it would be more efficient to recycle if these machines could come apart without having to be shredded. So, use a glue that releases when struck by some type of radio waves, perhaps microwaves or terahertz waves which are closer to infrared, which might also be sufficient - maybe just heat the thing to 100C - low enough to avoid damaging the chips etc. Then all of the components would just fall apart, ready for reuse or whatever.

    Another alternative would be some kind of solvent that the plastic is designed to be vulnerable to.

    Both of these are still one-way trips, but at least then the components could be directed to the appropriate recycling mechanism easily and automatically.

  19. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Guitar picks.

    Neat. I'll have to remember those the next time I'm levering stuff up.

    Yes, it's an anorak.

  20. TimT999

    Let's pretend this marketing message is news

    I get why iFixIt puts out these strip down marketing messages -- they sell repair parts and want to drive business. But why does the Register treat this kind of PR as if it had some value for most readers?

    The author of the article seems to be taking offense that an iPad isn't made with nuts and screws so the average user could swap out a graphical chip or swap in a new screen. And anyone with half a brain is thinking, "Sure I'm going dig into the circuitry of this pricy unit and pretend I know what I'm doing."

    Let's get real, only about 1% of computer users will ever try and do repairs (aside from adding memory). The chances of someone being savvy enough to fix a smart phone or tablet -- one in a thousand.

    And let's imagine for a moment what these tablets would look like if they were held built by simple hardware that a hobbyist could fix. An iPad would look like one of those build-your-own computers from the 60s -- even the hardware geeks wouldn't buy them. So please Register, let's get real.

    1. Rik Myslewski

      Re: Let's pretend this marketing message is news

      Have you ever met iFixit's founder, Kyle Weins and talked with him about the reasons for his focus on repairability? Have you ever learned about the work he's done in Africa to improve access to technology through repairability? Have you ever read any of his writings on the need for repairability?

      Not everyone is a cynical as you, TimT999. Not everyone believes that the only reason to do anything in this world is to grab yet another Almighty Dollar.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's pretend this marketing message is news

        If stuff was easy to fix would iFixit have a business - you would just but a replacement battery rather than their screwdriver / spudger kits and DIY.

        The reality is when my iPhone needs a battery I would rather trust Apple to replace it themselves with one of their exact spec. batteries than a 3rd party 'equivalent' - especially when it spends most of it's days in my pocket.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll sum up the thread:

    "I hate Apple with a fiery outrage because they make products intended for people who have different priorities than I do. It is morally reprehensible for people to value different things than I do, because I am smart; therefore I conclude that people who disagree with me are by definition stupid, and I hate stupid people even though I would be unemployed without them.

    "I understand that businesses exist to profit by producing products which people will buy, and I am fully aware that the overwhelming majority of customers care far more about form factor and design than about repairability. However, I disapprove of that, and therefore believe that Apple is obligated to cripple its product in the eyes of 99.99% of its customers in order to appeal to edge cases like me, who would never be caught dead using their garbage anyway.

    "Also, Apple should make its $700 tablet computers easy to repair, so that starving, illiterate African children with no access to electricity can fix them."

    I think that about covers it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot the undercurrent of "By no means will we hold Apple's competitors to the same standards. We'll cast aspersions, but gloss over the fact that most of the competition are far, far worse."

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Sanctimonious pair of pricks ...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The arguments on here go like this:

    1. you can'r repair Apple stuff these days - well it's the same for most other tablets / phones these days - you want them small / light and that's what happens.

    2. I want to repair it myself - well some Apple stuff you could do - iFixit (albeit experts with the right tools) seem to manage it - so it is possible.

    3. 95-99% of people probably would not repair their own devices - at least Apple will fix / replace their devices for a fixed cost out of warranty and typically quickly and easily by post or at an Apple Store.

    4. Applecare is an extra cost - yes it is - the standard (free) support is already good but Applecare+ extends it and now provides insurance cover (with a small excess) for 2 incidents of accidental damage over a 2 year period.

  23. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I have 2 batteries for my phone great for when you are doing a lot of traveling and don't have the time to put your phone on charge you can just swap out a dead battery for a fully charged one. Can also do the same with my Dell laptop

    Unfortunately to save a couple of millimeters of the thickness of the phone/tablet more manufacturers are building the battery into the device so it can't be removed

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      For the phone, most would point to USB battery bricks, which can hold more charge than any phone can and has the additional advantage of being hot-pluggable.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problem with carrying spare batteries is that you then end up with a flat battery and usually have to put that one the device to charge it. Far simpler to carry a USB (battery powered) power supply - they can be used with multiple devices (some have multiple charging ports) and typically a far higher capacity than one spare battery would give. One spare battery only doubles your runtime and you need a spare for your phone, spare for your tablet, spare for your bluetooth headset (oh probably not removable) and a spare for all your devices that charge off USB.

  24. The Empress

    What We have said for years

    Is to either make these infernal devices sealed and waterproof or open with replaceable batteries. Not NEITHER of those things.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What We have said for years

      The battery isn't the only - or maybe even the main - thing preventing dunkable slabs. The engineering necessary to seal the connectors in a reliable way is presumably nontrivial.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020