Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
58,044
21,107



A new campaign by Greenpeace today has rated the repairability of six Apple devices against the smartphone, tablet, and laptop market at large, the purpose of which is to highlight planned obsolescence in the technology industry. Greenpeace partnered with iFixit to assess over forty different devices that debuted between 2015 and 2017, with iFixit's teardown repairability scores serving as the basis for the data.

Apple's products looked at in the campaign included the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad (fifth generation), 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 12-inch MacBook (refreshed in 2017). All products were rated in the following categories: battery replaceability, display replaceability, no special tools needed, and spare parts available.

iphone-apart.jpg

Scoring worst on the list were the two MacBooks, which each got a 1/10, and the two iPads didn't fare much better, both getting 2/10 marks in the campaign. The new iPhone 7 models were much higher, both receiving a 7/10 with positive check marks in display replaceability but red x's in all other categories.

Microsoft had trouble in the ratings as well, with its Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book both rated at 1/10. Conversely, the brands abiding by Greenpeace's repairability mantra included Fairphone, Dell, and HP, which all had products rated at 10/10 on the campaign's scale.

Ultimately, Greenpeace wants to bring awareness to the phenomenon of planned obsolescence, which the company's IT sector analyst, Gary Cook, said "adds to growing stockpiles of e-waste," due to difficult repairability shortening device lifespan. Cook noted that, "improving the repairability of electronic products is technically achievable and brands should be prioritizing this in their product design."
"Electronics take a massive amount of energy, human effort, and natural resources to make," said iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens. "And yet, manufacturers produce billions more of them every year--while consumers keep them for just a few years before tossing them away. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. We should be able to make electronics a more sustainable part of our lives."
In an environmental report earlier this year, Greenpeace awarded Apple with an "A" rating, calling it the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world, for the third year in a row. That report looked specifically at energy transparency, renewable energy commitment, energy efficiency and mitigation, renewable procurement, and advocacy.

Article Link: Greenpeace Combats Planned Obsolescence in New Repairability Campaign, iPad and MacBook Score Low
 
  • Like
Reactions: adib and Foxy696

gaximus

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,876
3,508
Whats the purpose of this, its not going to change how Apple or Microsoft builds their products, it'll just show other manufactures that its ok to produce them this way. It also doesn't help me as a consumer, I'm still going to buy what I want, and if I was the type of consumer that repairability was a deciding factor, then I would be the type of consumer to do my own research into the device.

And as far as recyclability goes, Apple has a whole system for recycling their products and is one of the best for environment.
 

Jim Lahey

macrumors 68000
Apr 8, 2014
1,800
3,386
I'm no expert on the subject matter, but I can't help thinking that small components being replaceable is very likely to result in small components being put in the trash, whereas entire units being recycled seems more likely to result in less so.

But I'm sure many, more knowledgable people will disagree. Personally I don't really care. I just like nice stuff.
 

TheAustrianGuy

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2010
258
546
Yeah, right.
As if nothing had improved over the years.
"..while consumers keep them for just a few years": People keep their stuff much longer today than they did only a couple of years ago. Consumer electronics have reached a level of only incremental updates, where it doesn't matter so much anymore if you have the latest and greatest or a still working and fast device from a couple years back.

In Austria, companies have to deduct their computers over 3 years.
In the 90s, the three years was considered much too long, because computers were outdated once you left the store with them, and crawlingly slow at the end of the 3 years.
Now, companies write the computers off over the first 3 years and can use them, if it's about office applications, at least 5 years, often much longer than that.

Sure, it helps if the devices can be repaired, but my mom for example will replace her iPad2, which is still working fine, but getting slow even for her taste, with my current iPad Air2, which will be replaced by a shiny new iPad Pro 12.9, scheduled to be delivered tomorrow :D

Especially Apple has a very good track record of using first class components (with a few exceptions) like batteries that cost 5c more than the crappy ones pretty much everyone else uses.

So attacking Apple is not right in this case.
Problem is, Apple is a prominent target.
 

maxjohnson2

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2017
350
231
I have change screen for friends and family before, but basically reject repairing iPhone when people ask, it's a big pain. I just tell them go to repair shop or Apple store. Unfortunately it's the same for all Android phones now too as they are all unibody water resistant.
 

nviz22

Cancelled
Jun 24, 2013
5,277
3,071
Samsung's S7s & S8s and Microsoft's Surface Pro 5 have low scores too. Green Peace needs to realize though that planned obsolescence is an economic model that will not go away anytime soon, especially when phone upgrades are becoming more expensive and more redundant. Companies will want people to continue buying products, so that's why a battery or LCD panel degrades a little quicker here and there. Plus, removal batteries are very rare in flagship devices as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jase1125

diegov12

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2015
93
184



A new campaign by Greenpeace today has rated the repairability of six Apple devices against the smartphone, tablet, and laptop market at large, the purpose of which is to highlight planned obsolescence in the technology industry. Greenpeace partnered with iFixit to assess over forty different devices that debuted between 2015 and 2017, with iFixit's teardown repairability scores serving as the basis for the data.

Apple's products looked at in the campaign included the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad (fifth generation), 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 12-inch MacBook (refreshed in 2017). All products were rated in the following categories: battery replaceability, display replaceability, no special tools needed, and spare parts available.

iphone-apart.jpg

Scoring worst on the list were the two MacBooks, which each got a 1/10, and the two iPads didn't fare much better, both getting 2/10 marks in the campaign. The new iPhone 7 models were much higher, both receiving a 7/10 with positive check marks in display replaceability but red x's in all other categories.

Microsoft had trouble in the ratings as well, with its Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book both rated at 1/10. Conversely, the brands abiding by Greenpeace's repairability mantra included Fairphone, Dell, and HP, which all had products rated at 10/10 on the campaign's scale.

Ultimately, Greenpeace wants to bring awareness to the phenomenon of planned obsolescence, which the company's IT sector analyst, Gary Cook, said "adds to growing stockpiles of e-waste," due to difficult repairability shortening device lifespan. Cook noted that, "improving the repairability of electronic products is technically achievable and brands should be prioritizing this in their product design."
In an environmental report earlier this year, Greenpeace awarded Apple with an "A" rating, calling it the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world, for the third year in a row. That report looked specifically at energy transparency, renewable energy commitment, energy efficiency and mitigation, renewable procurement, and advocacy.

Article Link: Greenpeace Combats Planned Obsolescence in New Repairability Campaign, iPad and MacBook Score Low
Apple makes their products from used materials, acquired through the recycling program.

Since apple products can hold their value, I can just sell for half the price and get another from apple.
 

Zarniwoop

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2009
1,034
745
West coast, Finland
And no word about the software. Every obsolete iToy has been crippled with an software update, and therefore became pain to use. I was a happy iPad 3 user with 7.1 version, but after 8.xx and especially 9.xx it became so slow that it wasn't pleasant to use anymore. And if you didn't backup your device with the older iOS, there's no way back. That is planned obsolescence.
 

CTHarrryH

macrumors 68030
Jul 4, 2012
2,808
1,269
People want thinner lighter products - you can't do that if you build it so it can be easily rebuilt after assembly. If you want a phone the size of a laptop - you might be able to make parts replaceable. Also it isn't an issue of take one out and put another in - a new chip might require different support chips.
Years ago I remember some company made modular computers so you could do upgrades like that - no one bought them.
This is an example of using data for something for which it was never designed to prove something you are desperate to prove
 

Cesar Battistini

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2017
252
328
Brazil
And no word about the software. Every obsolete iToy has been crippled with an software update, and therefore became pain to use. And if you didn't backup your device with the older iOS, there's no way back. That is planned obsolescence.

And Android stops updating in 2- 3 years at least Apple is 5 years. And 5 years for a smartphone is more than enough
[doublepost=1498572285][/doublepost]
Yeah, right.
As if nothing had improved over the years.
"..while consumers keep them for just a few years": People keep their stuff much longer today than they did only a couple of years ago. Consumer electronics have reached a level of only incremental updates, where it doesn't matter so much anymore if you have the latest and greatest or a still working and fast device from a couple years back.

In Austria, companies have to deduct their computers over 3 years.
In the 90s, the three years was considered much too long, because computers were outdated once you left the store with them, and crawlingly slow at the end of the 3 years.
Now, companies write the computers off over the first 3 years and can use them, if it's about office applications, at least 5 years, often much longer than that.

Sure, it helps if the devices can be repaired, but my mom for example will replace her iPad2, which is still working fine, but getting slow even for her taste, with my current iPad Air2, which will be replaced by a shiny new iPad Pro 12.9, scheduled to be delivered tomorrow :D

Especially Apple has a very good track record of using first class components (with a few exceptions) like batteries that cost 5c more than the crappy ones pretty much everyone else uses.

So attacking Apple is not right in this case.
Problem is, Apple is a prominent target.


Apple sells the "research" when media outlets grab it and spread it everywhere!
 

Brian Clifford

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2016
127
78
It is hard to argue with these findings. Apple enjoys a reputation for the reliability and resale value of some of its products, but the near impossibility in replacing component parts should it be necessary, or indeed the very limited, conditional Apple Care Plan of 3 years, (which is really only 2 years in addition to a standard 1st. year warranty), is not attractive to some potential customers of such expensive products.
 
Last edited:

Zarniwoop

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2009
1,034
745
West coast, Finland
And Android stops updating in 2- 3 years at least Apple is 5 years. And 5 years for a smartphone is more than enough
If I could have the 7.1 back to my iPad 3, I'd be happier than with this stuttering 9.3.5... even with its security problems. If Apple would be fair (which they're not, then need money for every quarter), they'd offer just security updates for the older models without the need to update to a slow, stuttering awesomenes of a new version.

That is pure planned obsolescence.
 

TurboPGT!

Suspended
Sep 25, 2015
1,595
2,620
Well you can dismiss their entire premise immediately based on the statement:

"while consumers keep them for just a few years before tossing them away."

Toss away multi-hundred dollar electronics? Nope. They get sold, and re-used for another cycle. Maybe sold, and re-used again. Eventually they make their way back to Apple, and get recycled.

NO they are not designed to be repairable to live forever. They are designed to be recycled, so that every single component can go back into circulation.

Stupid people.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68030
Aug 29, 2009
2,706
3,324
Planned obsolescence or not, it sure feels nice being able to replace a shattered glass back on an iPhone 4. Just unscrew the bottom and slide it off. Not too hard to open. You can't do the same as easily with an iPhone 7s, it's taped together... And forget about iPads, those are completely glued together with no screws at all.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,442
Silicon Valley, CA
I have a working 24-inch iMac (yes from back when they made those) and I can still do work on it, so I don't get how it's "obsolete" aside from it not having the latest version of High Sierra. Or is Greenpeace just complaining that Apple doesn't do EVEN MORE to support their users aside from years-long software support, great service with repairs, and an entire recycling system?

Well you can dismiss their entire premise immediately based on the statement:

"while consumers keep them for just a few years before tossing them away."

Toss away multi-hundred dollar electronics? Nope. They get sold, and re-used for another cycle. Maybe sold, and re-used again. Eventually they make their way back to Apple, and get recycled.

NO they are not designed to be repairable to live forever. They are designed to be recycled, so that every single component can go back into circulation.

Stupid people.

This. This. 1000 times THIS.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kazmac

ilian92

macrumors regular
Oct 7, 2012
163
106
And no word about the software. Every obsolete iToy has been crippled with an software update, and therefore became pain to use. I was a happy iPad 3 user with 7.1 version, but after 8.xx and especially 9.xx it became so slow that it wasn't pleasant to use anymore. And if you didn't backup your device with the older iOS, there's no way back. That is planned obsolescence.

That's not necessarily planned obsolescence. Your device is older while technology and software are improving, eventually newer software versions that are designed to take advantage of the improvements on newer devices will become too much to handle. It's happened to me as well but can't blame a manufacturer for making more powerful devices.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.