Whatever happened to removable batteries? iPhone critics once howled that the lack of an easily replaced battery would kill the iPhone against competition. Then Samsung stopped putting removable batteries in their Galaxy line and now nobody cares. Except for some ill-advised politicians.
I understand why iFixIt wants you and me to have the right to repair. That’s their business. My father once repaired his car’s carburetor. My grandfather worked on transmissions back in the day. Nobody but trained professionals monkey around with such complex components these days and the iPhone is no different.
Apple’s issue with iPhone performance throttling started last year and won’t end with Batterygate this year. Apple did the right thing but did it the wrong way. In Washington (the state) there is a bill moving in the state legislature– sparked by the fake outrage of Batterygate– that devices are too difficult to repair and politicians need to do something about that.
A wave of so-called right-to-repair or fair repair bills that would prevent companies from having repair monopolies have been introduced in states around the country. Last year, 12 states introduced bills that would require electronics manufacturers to make repair information available to consumers and third-party repair shops and would require them to sell replacement parts for electronics. It would also prevent them from using software locks to prevent repair or from remotely bricking electronics that use aftermarket parts. Already in 2018, 17 states have introduced fair repair bills.
I understand the sentiment. The notion goes like this– we iPhone customers should have as much right to repair our devices as Apple or Apple-sanctioned repair shops. But why? What business do I have trying to repair my refrigerator or washer or dryer or transmission?
Politicians think different.
Starting in 2019, the [Washington] bill would ban the sale of electronics that are designed “in such a way as to prevent reasonable diagnostic or repair functions by an independent repair provider. Preventing reasonable diagnostic or repair functions includes permanently affixing a battery in a manner that makes it difficult or impossible to remove.”
In Honolulu, HI if you’re using a cell phone while crossing the street you could get a ticket and be fined. Why? Big Brother is watching and wants to save you from yourself. I say, “survival of the fittest.” Ditto for repairs. If you want to, have at it. Enjoy the process. Otherwise, leave the repairs to the professionals.
This kind of save us from ourselves mentality has all kinds of trouble written all over it.
Apple’s Air Pods and Microsoft’s Surface Laptop (among many other new electronics), cannot be disassembled without being completely destroyed, making battery replacement impossible.
Can you replace the battery in your pacemaker? Or Toyota Prius? No. And there is no reason Apple needs to allow customers the privilege of bricking their iPhones and iPads by giving them access to tools and information so they can replace a battery. Let the professionals do it. Don’t like that? OK, become a professional, get the training and the tools you need, but stop trying to regulate that which seems to be working out well in the marketplace already.
Nobody wants to repair their own iPhones. This is a bad idea.