No need to complain about Apple mechanical design choices. If I don't like the fasteners or anything else about some Apple product, it is my right and choice not to purchase it. I think Apple is arrogant for their design choice here, but I'm an engineer and don't accept that I can't fix something that is broken in most cases. It irritates me to have to buy a special tool, even if it is cheap. Its their product. If I want to make one sorta like it with philliips screws, I can gather up about a half a gazillion dollars, set up a Foxconn like deal in the US where pay is decent and conditions are fair, and go for it.
This argument of who owns what portion of the product when the consumer purchases the product reminds me of the arguments made by printer companies over toner cartridges. The printer manufacturers argued in courts that the customer who purchased the printer really only owns the use of the toner in the cartridge, but it is not their product to choose to have it remanufactured. I think the printer manufacturers were quite successful at squeezing out lots of remanufacturing competitors with arguments like that. Apple is poised to protect their market share in a similar way.
The general consumer is not who they're trying to keep out, and opening up the device isn't going to change anything that has to do with FCC regualtions, as long as it's not causing interference to public airwaves, or emergency bands the device is fine. People still operate pirate radio stations which do interfere with licensed radio stations.
I don't think an infant is going to un-screw a device, infants put things in their mouths all the time it's what they do, and they're more likely to pick up something from putting something like a phone in their mouth considering how many things an adult comes into contact with in a given day germs picked up elsewhaere are more of a problem to a child playing with their parents phone or elcetronic device than the screws holding it together.
If 3D printing really ever takes off no one will be able to fix anything or even tinker with anything since the components are printed and sealed within the finished printed product.
It's not engineers it's future engineers who take things a part just like I did when i was young just like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Almost every securiy flaw wheter it be hardware or software related were discovered by people who either took something a prt or hacked the software. If some of these hacks hadn't happened there are security flaws that Apple and others would not have discovered.
I'm no apologist of Apple and dislike most of their products. Seriously, how many percent of consumers have the ability to replace an internal battery properly or any desire to tinker with the innards? Keep in mind the devices must meet FCC/CE emissions requirements over the product life. Consumer product design has to also consider liability exposure- what if millions of consumers are able to install "gray market" batteries and there are a few fires in houses and airliners ? Or, an infant chokes on a small part that fell out of an incorrectly re-assembled unit? Not far-fetched at all, again keep in mind the consumer base is largely non-engineers and includes toddlers.
As others state, engineers being thwarted by an unusual fastener is laughable. Another perspective- if you figure out how to remove the screws, you've earned access to the inner sanctum of the product. :)
Excellent post Pete, I couldn't say it better. A great deal of the lamentable state of the american industry, economy, education and (previsibly); future is just because of the lost ingenuity and the lost capabilities of the old "DIY" community no longer present in the recent generations of young people; it is deeper than it seems.
Like you, I also learned a lot from taking things apart. As I remember, about 20-30% of the devices I tinkered with in my infancy were disabled permanently by my then uneducated incursions before teen age, but I kept improving, and most importantly, lost any remaining fears about attempting repairs.
At age 18 the old car that my father passed to me, failed to start precisely on an important event day. I tried and tried for hours to no avail, until it was dark and too late to go anyway, so I completely disassembled, cleaned and adjusted the carburetor for the first time and finally, around 12 o'clock, the car started and ran fine, and I decided to take a full plunge into auto mechanics. Soon I was able to fix most problems and people looked for me in order to help them know what type of problem their car had. In high School, I hadn't enough money to buy a decent audio system. So, I decided to go to the public library and studied many books on speaker systems design, and ended assembling medium-high quality speakers and installing home audio, so that I had plenty of money to pay for my (many) hobbies during my university years. Today I'm an advocate of the DIY movement, in spite of disappearing goods and materials for the DIY. I still have and enjoy a damn good stereo based on highly modified Kits bought from the David Hafler and Heathkit long defunct companies, with triamplified speakers and homemade cabinets, that put to shame neighbors systems costing 10 to 15 times more. BTW, those great former companies always included full schematics on the instructions, which helped understand the design philosophy in addition to being able to repair them.
But most importantly, all that hobbies gave me an edge in becoming a good engineer, gave me pride and self confidence, and a knack to tackle technical problems that baffle many of my less hands-on colleages, which respect me and frequently ask for my help; which is one of the most pleasant compliments one can have. "Get dirty and get an education" that's good advice indeed.
Did you read the article? if Apple didn't want people opening up devices, then they would just use regular screws that most people would already have in their tool box, would they not?
Yeah that right use a screw that isn't included in a standard or even extended tool set, as the article states it's a screw that is not used by a lot of manufacturers or the general public and it's done with intent to keep people from opening up something "THEY" bought and own.
Putting those types of screws on the device says a lot and Apple doesn't have to say anything about not opeing the device, their actions speak volumes.
I've worked with electronics since I was a kid, and I've also never dropped anything in a toilet or sink, I don't know how or why a phone would end up in the toilet, aparently it happens to enough people why i don't know that a company has come into existance that will water proof these individuals electronic mobile devices.
Maybe Apple should tell these people not to use the phone around a toilet, then again it's not Apple's problem if you or anyone else choose to use your phone while around a toilet, sink or spill water on any electronic device seiing as how in my opinion most people should have the common sense to know electronics and liquids don't mix. I guess Apple will start making their products water proof like some manufacturers have started to do now..
My statement about codes and compliance relate to the statement from another poster that implied that a person can make any change whatsoever to their home because they own it legally, which disregards the facts that there are codes, regulations, and laws that relate to what can or cannot be done to one's property.
FCC regulations state that the federal government regulates devices connected to infrastructure and requires the "owner, operator, or provider" to ensure compliance.
I was not commenting on Apple, but on the poster's assertion upon which he was basing a position.
We need to bring back the study of rhetoric, discourse, and debate in our educational system.
Isn't it ironic that Apple and other computer/digital hardware manufacturers who try to protect their products from the light of day are themselves responsible for providing the means to find the tools for disassembly? Surfing the Internet for answers is a very empowering tool for the consumer.
One again... Apple doesn't prevent anyone from opening their phone. You can pick up a pentalobe driver on-line from multiple places for about $3. I keep a set right along with my torx, and phillips sets. Apple only says that if you open it, they won't pay to fix it since they can't tell who is responsible for the damage.
BTW, my iPhone 4 slipped out of my shirt pocket and into the toilet. The glass broke so it got soaked internally. I took it into the Apple store and let them know how careful I usually am with their products and how devastated I am that this happened. They replaced it for free. If you'd rather try to fix it yourself, go for it.
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