Monthly Archives: April 2015

Apple Watch is Based on “Planned Obsolescence”

Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is ‘planned obsolescence’

Tech website iFixit found that Apple had ensured that the technology would eventually fall out of use, forcing customers to buy new products

Jamie Campbell

Saturday 25 April 2015

Tech repair and upgrade website iFixit has claimed that the Apple Watch won’t be a long term option for those hoping to continually upgrade their device.

CEO Kyle Wiens has always been a vocal critic of Apple’s obstructive policies on third parties fixing and upgrading iOS devices and his company provide an online “free repair guide for everything” where methods to repair or improve electronic devices are posted.

Upon the release of the Apple Watch, Wiens’ company immediately got down to the business of (iBuffs look away now) tearing the brand new product open and evaluating it from the inside.

Their prying work has discovered that the “overall device construction limits further repair options”.

“The S1 SiP [internal system in package] is encased in resin, and is further held in place by a mess of glue and soldered ribbon connectors. In short, basic component replacements look nearly impossible.”

The s1SiP is custom-designed Apple technology that integrates a number of subsystems like the chip into one package. It is encased in resin to increase its durability.

Read more:
iFixit: A million little pieces
Apple watch goes on sale
Apple watch: First version unlikely to be a measure of success

Therefore, according to iFixit, the Apple Watch has intentional obsolescence built into it as it will become technologically redundant as processors become faster and apps are supported only by the newest models.

This tactic is known as ‘planned obsolescence’ and has been an accusation levelled at Apple for a number of years.

The current operating system for iPhones, for example, only supports some of the newer models and it appears that the Apple Watch will find itself in a similar position.

This revelation may trouble users, who will have paid £479 for the standard model or even up to £9,500 if they bought the 18-Carat Rose Gold Case edition.

The exploratory work by iFixit revealed that the device includes a 2-5mAh battery, compared to a 300mAh battery found in competing devices, like the Motorola Moto 360 and Samsung Gear Live. The device also includes an ARM Cortex mj3-based touchscreen controller.

The research also interestingly found that, although Apple has promoted the device’s heart rate monitoring feature, it is actually bundled with a plethysmograph that could act as a pulse oximeter. This could allow users to measure their own blood oxygen levels.

Apple has never commented on claims that this is policy that they pursue.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cost, Information, Service Dirt

2015 MacBook is the least repairable yet

Apple By Matthew Humphries Apr. 15, 2015 11:28 am

Apple has demonstrated repeatedly that it does not want owners of its hardware attempting to fix it themselves. That’s their right, but the 12-inch 2015 MacBook has taken that unrepairablity outside of Apple’s own tech department to a new level.

iFixit has carried out its usual teardown of the newest MacBook on the market, and the verdict is basically: don’t even bother trying to repair this laptop yourself. It scored 1 out of 10 on their scale, and is a case filled with proprietary screws and a lot of adhesive.

 

We’ve already seen how the MacBook is mostly batteries inside the case, but the terraced battery system isn’t just placed snugly, it is firmly glued to the lower casing. The central battery is even placed in a well and glued in place making it very difficult to remove if necessary. The result is batteries that have to be forced out and are left covered in glue.

Then we have the new butterfly mechanism keyboard. It has a backing secured with adhesive that once removed reveals two proprietary pentalobe screws per key. That’s 83 screws total just in the keyboard. iFixit also has some concerns about that butterfly mechanism as it is very thin and uses a plastic hinge. How well will that hold up over time?

Apple has been criticized for only including a single USB port to handle both power and peripheral connections. It is going to get a lot of use and abuse, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to replace if damaged. Apple has secured it underneath the display bracket, meaning a lot of disassembly will be required if it breaks.

 

Then finally, and as expected, the logic board has everything soldered on to it, so no RAM or flash memory upgrades, and if something goes wrong you’ll need a new board.

If you’re purchasing this MacBook and happen to be accident prone or really couldn’t handle a costly repair in the near future, then you need to do what Apple really want you to do anyway: also purchase an AppleCare Protection Plan.

CLICK HERE to read the complete story and see the photos

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized