Posts Tagged 'iphone'

Repair, Refurbish or redesign?

I posted this as a response to some of the very short sighted comments and rant going on over on PoguesPosts, the latest in Technology from NY Times reporter/columnist David Pogue. The topic was about replacing a broken screen on an iPhone and the $245 cost.

Universally though both David and all 108 posters before me seemed to completely miss is the opportunity to do things better, not to gripe about Apples costs, or the poor or otherwise design of the iPhone. So, here’s my take on it.

“I think the point is that we and the companies that we buy from, HAVE to start being much more responsible with our electronic goods from the point of design.

Is it unreasonable to expect the designers of one of the best gadgets in the last few years to think about how they are serviced, refurbished and disposed of, I think not.

We simply can’t go on forever buying stuff and dumping the old, unwanted broken stuff without regard. The designers have their part to play in this, as do the companies that sell us stuff. Why didn’t the designers expect to see a reasonable amount of broken screens? Why isn’t there a reasonably priced refurbishment program that replaces the outer case, scratched glass etc.

This is an important challenge and one we all need to rise to. It is simply not good enough to just keep dumping old electronic devices with no regard to where the raw materials, components for the next one come from, and where the waste goes from the last one.

Shame on Apple for not making it easier to replace a broken screen, shame on Apple for not providing a more cost effective repair service.”

{Edit: What really made me think of reposting this was because when I read the posted version(uneditable) I realised I’d missed a vital NO in “no regard” in the 2nd from last paragraph.}

About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I am a Fellow of the British Computer Society ( I'm an information technology optimist.

I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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