Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

Not that easy, is it? Apple, Samsung most locked-down of all kit

Out of 17 IT brands, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have taken the crown for devices that are the hardest to repair or upgrade – and their displays are the fiddliest bits of all.

It's all about the complex designs, adhesives and proprietary parts such as screws, Greenpeace discovered in a repairability survey (PDF) of 40 popular smartphones, tablets and laptops covering 2015 to 2017.

The batteries on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Retina MacBook, for example, come adhered to their device panels.

The survey took into account data from IFixit's teardown score as well as the availability of spare parts and repair manuals.

Out of the surveyed devices across all of the IT brands included, it was found that the Achilles heel for poor repairability design was the display. Thirty out of the total 44 devices tested with IFixIt's rubric had displays that would be a killer to swap.

And two-thirds of all the devices required fiddling with adhesives or special tools to get to the battery.

But even if you could get to the parts, only three of the 17 brands – Dell, Fairphone and HP – even provide all spare parts or instructions for repair.

Obviously, vendors do not actually want you to attempt to tinker with their kit yourself.

But if you're curious, highest scorers for tinkerable-with phones hailed from Fairphone, LG and Xiaomi. Highest scores for tablets went to devices by HP, LG and Acer. Highest-scoring laptops came from HP, Dell, Samsung, LG and Acer.

We've asked Apple and Samsung for comment.

Microsoft told us: "As is the case with many products, Surface is built by professionals and is intended to be serviced by professionals. Surface is comprised of high-quality components, and we stand behind our warranty and the cutting-edge materials used to create these unique and powerful devices."

Got a tale of hardware-modding/repairing woe or triumph? Drop us an email here. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021