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Apple, the company that requires the entire panel to be replaced by design when a 6 dollar display cable malfunctions, is proud to announce its latest marketing slogan for a better environment.



Just because you're not getting that panel back doesn't mean it's destroyed and wasted. I figure that these policies simplify their front-line technician jobs, getting faster turnaround times and higher success rates. Then they have a different department that sorts through all the removed/broken parts, repairing and using parts from them. No idea if this is what they actually do, but it would be the smart way to handle it.


It seems like they will rather shredded perfectly good parts than to let thirt party repair shops use them to help people at sane prices:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/10/07/apple-g...

https://www.vice.com/en/article/yp73jw/apple-recycling-iphon...


So because a company stole devices to sell them makes Apple the bad guy?


It's possible for both companies to be in the wrong.

The recycling center shouldn't have resold the devices (which is, as you point out, effectively theft). However, Apple should not be shredding hundreds of thousands of otherwise usable devices.


Apple does nothing to improve front line technician procedures. They aren't even an engineering factor. If you happen to be able to replace something on an Apple product, it's only because the cost-benefit ratio wasn't in favor of making that part hostile to work with.

Apple puts 56 screws in the Unibody MBP keyboards. They were practically the pioneer of gluing components in permanently. They don't care about technicians. Not even their own. They have been one of the leaders of the anti-right-to-repair movement from day one.


Oh hey they went back to screws on the keyboards? that's nice, they used to be single use plastic rivets, so at least you can redo that.

Also Apple's glue isn't usually that bad to work with. Doesn't leave much residue, so as long as you know where to apply the heat you can do a clean repair and glue the new component back in.


I think apple might have learned a painful lesson about keyboard repairability… with all those warranty repairs they are *still* stuck with.


> Apple does nothing to improve front line technician procedures.

I’m not a fan of planned obselence and waste but this is clearly wrong. They’ve spent loads of engineering effort designing a machine for their store that can replace and reseal and test iPhone screen replacements out back.


Sounds more like using a sword where a knife is needed.


So what’s your proposal? How big would a “phone” be with all those features that an iphone pro has? I am by no means an apple fanboy, but the same way a modern car engine can’t just be tweaked the way it was 50 years ago due to all the miniaturizations that are in large part due to efficiency gains, the same is just as true of phones.

But at the same time, a single chip with everything included will also make these phones pretty sturdy, where it either fails completely, or remain working for long years.


An interesting comparison is formula 1 cars. Peak performance and parts that can be changed in seconds while still running. Even average modern cars have hundreds of parts that a lay person can reach with simple tools. Apple are obviously making a trade off (close it down for reduced size and better weather/water sealing) but then they don't get to pretend to be an environmentally concious company as that is antithical to their design goals.


That's kind of a bad argument, considering that an F1 engine will be absolutely _fucked_ and needs to be thrown away after 2000 km.

That said, the previous poster's argument is terrible and gluing a phone is not what allows """peak performance"""


Gluing is the least of the problem - as others mentioned, it can be easily resealed, and I very much prefer my phone surviving a bit of water.


It was more a comment about their ability to have parts replaced, but you're right that the analogy has many flaws.


The reasoning was to make the device as thin as possible according to Verge iirc. The cable degrades because it's too short and can't be replaced.

Says it all pretty much.


Yes, I want a device as thin as what my wallet is going to be after its repairs


Even in school we were taught the lessons to better and sustainable environmental habits: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In the very same order.

So, no sir. Apple isn't the environment friendly company that they claim to be. So much money, and so little accountability.


Obsession with emissions has really made people start to miss the forest from the trees.


Emissions affect everyone on the planet, no matter where they happen. But polluting the ground or water only happens in China, so a lot of Americans that care about emissions don't care about the other types of pollution, because it doesn't affect them.


You would be surprised just how much food you eat has been grown in China using polluted land and water.

It's not so much fresh vegetables, but ingredients in other types of food -- especially the frozen fruit, vegetables and farmed seafood that finds its way into grocery store and restaurant supply chains.


> But polluting the ground or water only happens in China,

Do you have any idea how many superfund sites are in Silicon Valley alone?


Yes, one of them is under my house. But that’s not what my comment was about.

I was pointing out the mindset of people who don’t care about ground pollution of their products because their products are made elsewhere.


> But polluting the ground or water only happens in China

I see you've never been to Houston.


Could you elaborate on what you mean by this?


Not OP. Personally, I've had Dell, HP and Sony laptops. But the macs have been the longest lasting of them all. My personal pro is from 2015.

It has also come to a point where none of the extensions makes sense for me. 512GB is plenty. RAM might be an issue - but I honestly don't have enough data on that. The last time I had more than 16GB RAM was in 2008 on my hand built desktop.

As long as the battery can be replaced/fixed - even if it's not user serviceable, I'm okay with that. I'd guess I'm not in the minority here. Most people buy a computer and then take it to the store even if there's a minor issue. And Apple actually shines here. I have gotten my other laptop serviced - but only in unauthorized locations with questionable spare parts. With Apple, every non-tech savvy person I know has been able to take to an Apple store at some point and thereby extend the life.

That's why I believe having easily accessible service locations does more to device longevity than being user-serviceable.

(In comparison, HTC wanted 4 weeks to fix my phone plus 1wk either way in shipping time and me paying shipping costs in addition to the cost of repair. Of course, I abandoned the phone entirely than paying to fix it.)

We could actually test this hypothesis - if we could ask an electronics recycler on the average age of the devices they get by brand, we should get a clear idea on what brands actually last longer.


I'd much rather have the ability to fix a device myself than be locked into a vendor controlled repair solution. I've been able to extend the life of many devices I've had (the earliest from 2010) through repairs like dust removal, RAM upgrades and thermal paste reapplication.

Also worth noting that some people might be taking laptops to repair shops precisely because they are not user serviceable. Companies like framework are trying to change this with well-labelled internals and easily available parts.


Apple don't offer cheaper laptops. No one doubt it lasts longer in average.


I'm guessing they mean greenwashing statements about lower CO2 emissions glosses over more "traditional" pollution as heavy metals, organic solvents, SO2, NOx. Taming overconsumption is greener than finding ways to marginally reduce per unit emissions on ever more industrial production.


Not to mention all the eWaste that comes with the AirPods.


Who's doing better to mitigate e-waste?

> "AirPods are designed with numerous materials and features to reduce their environmental impact, including the 100 percent recycled rare earth elements used in all magnets. The case also uses 100 percent recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board, and 100 percent recycled aluminum in the hinge. AirPods are also free of potentially harmful substances such as mercury, BFRs, PVC, and beryllium. For energy efficiency, AirPods meet US Department of Energy requirements for battery charger systems. Apple’s Zero Waste program helps suppliers eliminate waste sent to landfills, and all final assembly supplier sites are transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production. In the packaging, 100 percent of the virgin wood fiber comes from responsibly managed forests."


Weird that they leave out the parts about the battery and casing waste; and are design to only last on average of 18 months to force you to buy new ones.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/neaz3d/airpods-are-a-tragedy


absolutely, the worst part of the airpods is the degrading non-replaceable battery... it really left a bad impression.


Does anyone have a comparable product that doesn't have this issue?


No, because, its the limitation of a battery. And there is a reason why, they’re manufactured as a non reparable product. They house battery, speakers, microphone, bluetooth and other electronic logic board. The space is so scarce they need to be machined very accurately. But hey bashing on Apple is better than thinking why. Market has already spoken that it needs tiny things hanging on your ears. There is a limit on what we can expect from such things.


And what are the chances of that part failing enough to impact the environment?


As long as they plant a tree every time they replace a panel, it should be fine?


We'll be able to undo most of our damage to environment this way, as it's always replacements




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