Repairability vs. Sturdiness

Over the years, Apple Products have become increasingly less repairable. The latest teardown of the new iPad evidences this fact with photos of densely packed electronic components and copious amounts of glue. This led iFixit to give the new iPad a low repairability score.

I get that, but also don’t see it as big of a strike against the iPad as most people make it out to be. For years now, repairing these devices, even without the glue, has been no walk in the park. To make these devices small, they have to be dense, and things are locked together inside, so the contents don’t move around. This also leads to that sense of sturdiness you feel with an iPad in your hand.

I can’t help but feel to make it more repairable you’d lose some of that. I’d also argue that for the vast majority of us, we’re not going to take a screwdriver to our iPad at any time, no matter how repairable it is. As a result, for most of us using less glue, adding more space inside, making the device less sturdy for the sake of repairability is a cost without a benefit.

I don’t envy Apple in having to make that decision between repairability and sturdiness. I understand there is a screwdriver-wielding crowd out there that won’t be happy as Apple increasingly locks these devices down. However, I think they generally make the right decisions when you consider the abundance of Apple Stores and certified repair centers where we can get a professional to fix our devices and the fact that we buy these devices to use them every day, not take them apart.