iFixit CEO names and shames tech giants for right to repair obstruction – iFixit chief Kyle Wiens claims Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft are monopolising the supply chain and designing products to prevent users from being able to easily repair them.

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We are retiring all of our Surfaces and people have expressed interest in keeping them so I investigated removing the hard drive. Nope, the Surfaces are all being destroyed as is.


Right to repair and design for repair are different things. We have to work on both. And conflating the two will not help work on both.


I used to work for a phone manufacturer and preventing people from repairing their phones didn’t factor into the design at all. At least not at the place I worked. According to market research, customers wanted lighter and thinner phones. The way to make them lighter and thinner was to glue the parts together instead of using screws, and soldering the batteries in instead of having them removable. Removing external connectors like headphone jacks is another popular one, and we actually put a lot of thought into designing a proprietary connector that would shave a few thousands of an inch off the phone’s thickness before ditching the idea. Making something easy to repair also means it’s going to be bulkier and heavier. And only a small minority of customers had any interest in that. There are phones out there that are easy to fix, that have replaceable batteries, SD card slots, and all that stuff. People get pissed off because the latest Samsung or Apple phones don’t have all of the capabilities they want, but they ignore the fact that there are phones that do. So these people have more interest in having the latest iPhone than having something with a swappable battery or easily replaceable screen. TL;DR: you can’t have your cake and eat it too.


But that’s their business model. It’s also how they keep competitors out. All perfectly legal… Apparently.


Right to Repair != Ease of Repair