While there are a few exceptions to the rule of smartphones being disposable devices, it seems that the market has firmly locked into a kind of arms race to develop the coolest, thinnest, most performant devices in the firm knowledge that the majority of those devices will be tossed after 2-3 years on the upside.
My own smartphone is the Xiaomi Mi 5, which was pretty rad when it was new, but has been ineligible to receive anything beyond the standard Google updates. Without the manufacturer's blessing, and without a little bit of help from a third-party OS (like LineageOS), one's expensive hardware device has essentially been rendered obsolete after what, three years?
Now for the Xiaomi Mi 5 I paid 'only' 350 Euro new and it is still working for me, even as its user experience is slowly going down the drain. If something broke on it now, I'd probably opt for a new 160-ish Redmi phone and be happy for another few years again. Yet smartphones have ballooned in price on the high-end.
Cutting corners on repairability is one thing in a budget smartphone that costs around a hundred bucks. But what about those $1,400 smartphones? I wouldn't want to buy them for the simple reason that I do not expect more life out of them than out of the budget phones you can get for a fraction of that price. Heck, you can buy a $140 phone each year for ten years straight, and in the end come out ahead on that $1,400 phone which one most definitely isn't going to be using for ten years.
If only phones were not only repairable, but also upgradable, I guess. The screen is usually fine, even after years of use, but one might want a bit more storage and RAM, maybe a new SoC with a bit more power. Having standard modules that slot together would even allow one to configure one's own ideal phone instead of having to compromise on whatever some manufacturer put together.
Oh, and making it affordable as well. Economies of scale tend to favour whatever junk gets churned out the fastest at the lowest cost. Hence glue over screws.It does feel like repairability is going to have to be enforced by law, as clearly the target market is too chummed with their latest fondleslabs to give much thought to such matters.