Mobile and Wireless: iPhone 5 Teardown Success: iFixit Likes What It Found Inside
iPhone 5 buyers, rejoice! That's the good word from repair site iFixit, which flew to Australia to open up and report back on the iPhone 5 before many a U.S. Apple retail store had opened its doors Sept. 21 and begun selling the smartphone. iFixit has taken Apple to task in the past, scolding it for devices that are unnecessarily difficult to repair. Apple, as a market leader, iFixit has argued, has a moral and environmental responsibility to create products that can be upgraded, repaired and ensured long lives, particularly given their expense to consumers, if not also out of respect for the people who labored (to degrees the world is becoming increasingly familiar with) to create them. Apple seems to have listened and created an iPhone that is its most repairable in some time. The most important change is that with the iPhone 5 Apple has returned to a top-down construction. While 38 steps are required to get to the display assembly of the iPhone 4S—and note, the glass display is the portion of the iPhone 4S most likely to break—on the iPhone 5, it's the first thing to be removed, says iFixit after removing (and here iFixit frowns) some proprietary Apple screws. Ultimately, the iPhone 5 received an iFixit "repairability score" of 7 out of 10, which is the best any Apple product has fared in some time. For a look at other changes Apple made, check out the slide show below.
"I never thought I would be so happy to see a suction cup," iFixit's MJ said in a video on the company's blog. "A screwdriver and a suction cup are all you'll need to replace a broken display." That's a far cry from the 38 steps—and roughly 45 minutes—required to get the display on the iPhone 4S.