Apple’s new iPad Air has been giving a repairability score of just two out of 10 by tech website iFixit after it found that glued-up components remain the norm for Apple.
The site, which offers help and advice on repairing hardware, is known for taking apart major new devices to find out which components have been used and how easy it is to access them. The iPad Air is the latest device disassembled to see what it contained.
Before that, however, the team had to get inside and as usual Apple has glued in many components which makes it difficult to access anything that needs fixing or replacing. The chief executive of iFixit Miroslav Djuric said the new glue is so tough they considered giving it just one out of 10.
“The battery is now a 2-cell unit and the adhesive is even harder to remove. The changes to the new iPad are bad for repairability, but not quite bad enough to halve its score from 2 to 1,” he said.
The iFixit team said that the trend for glued in batteries is a major frustration. “We're hoping that this trend won't stand the test of time, and that glued-in batteries will become phantoms of the past,” it said in the complete teardown process listed on its website.
The site also said that glue in other areas of the iPad Air would cause problems if the device needed fixing: “Just like in previous iPads, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass during a repair,” it said.
Once inside, the firm found numerous components from the likes of Toshiba, Qualcomm and Broadcom covering flash storage, wireless broadband and touchscreen controllers, respectively.
Summing up the device and its components, Djuric said that the continued trend for devices that are incredibly difficult to open is a major irritation: “With a hard-to-repair device, the fix is either expensive or impossible,” he said. “It hurts the consumer, sucks for the environment, and contributes to the device's untimely demise.”
The issue of devices that cannot be opened and tinkered with has been cited by some as a cause for a lack of IT interest among children. As such devices like the Raspberry Pi have sprung up to offer an easy way for children and hobbyists to play with the basics components of computers.
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