Sixth-Generation iPad Teardown Details ‘Repair Nightmare’ for Education-Focused Tablet

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iFixit today published its teardown of Apple’s sixth-generation, education-focused iPad and found that — unsurprisingly — the tablet shares many of the internals of the fifth-gen iPad. The teardown crew also looked at the new iPad’s potential for durability and repairability in an education environment by comparing it to competitors in the field.

Images via iFixit

The new iPad’s lack of waterproofing, non-replaceable charging port, zero upgradeability, and use of glue throughout the internals added up to a “repair nightmare.” iFixit then pointed towards the HP Elite x2 1012 G1 tablet, which got a perfect repairability score of 10 out of 10, summarizing that “Apple’s ‘education’ iPad is still a case of won’t — not can’t.”

Looking into the iPad’s internals, the two major updates in the new tablet are an upgraded A10 processor and Broadcom chips for Apple Pencil support. iFixit got a peek inside the iPad using Creative Electron’s X-ray imaging software, discovering “only minor differences” when compared to a similar X-ray of the previous iPad.


One of the iPad’s advantages in terms of repairability comes in the form of its digitizer panel easily separating from the display. iFixit pointed out that in the event that either component should break, repair will be easier for schools and educators.

In the education space, Apple has some stiff competition in the form of low-cost, Google-powered laptops. How does this iPad, er, stack up against a Chromebook from HP or Asus? Given that schoolkids can be a bit rough on their electronics, here’s an iFixit take on it:

iPad’s glued-glass display is more vulnerable to drops. Thankfully, this is the one iPad that retains an air-gapped digitizer panel—not as visually impressive as other recent iPads, but it’s much cheaper to replace cracked glass that isn’t LOCA-bonded to the display panel underneath. Separate accessories like the keyboard and Pencil add to the cost and are easier to lose—but are also easier to replace if damaged. (Note the missing key on our HP’s keyboard.)

Eventually, iFixit got down to the logic board and discovered the iPad’s A10 Fusion processor and two Broadcom touch screen controller chips, previously found in the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. iFixit theorized that the new iPad’s Apple Pencil support “comes in part thanks to this “Pro”-grade chip.”


The sixth-gen iPad has the same battery as the previous model, with 32.9 Wh capacity. iFixit noted that while this allows Apple to reuse existing manufacturing lines to reduce waste, the battery is still locked behind a “repair-impeding adhesive” that greatly reduced the iPad’s repairability score. Apple has provided easy battery removal before, in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but iFixit hasn’t seen anything like it since.

Ultimately, iFixit gave the 2018 iPad a repairability score of 2 out of 10, favoring the fairly easy repair options of its air-gapped, non-fused display and digitizer glass, but taking marks off for its heavy use of adhesive and sticky tape. To read the full teardown, visit iFixit.com.

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Apple, in addition to the highest U.S. market share among computer manufacturers, is also the most reliable brand, handily beating out a group of competitors that includes Samsung, Dell, and Lenovo.
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The similarity between the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and its predecessor are not limited to just the external design, as a teardown of the firm’s flagship smartphone reveals its internal construction bears more than a passing resemblance to the Galaxy S8, and is just as difficult to repair.
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Proposed California Law Would Give You the Right to Repair Your Tech

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The Right to Repair

On March 7, lawmaker Susan Talamantes Eggman introduced the California Right to Repair Act. If passed, the bill would make it considerably easier for consumers to repair their broken electronic devices in the home state of Silicon Valley.

“The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence,” Eggman said in a press statement.

“People shouldn’t be forced to ‘upgrade’ to the newest model every time a replaceable part on their smartphone breaks.”

Under Eggman’s bill, tech companies would have to provide consumers with repair guides and access to repair parts. Independent companies would also have access to diagnostic software and tools previously available only to authorized and first-party repair technicians.

Eighteen other states are already considering similar legislation.

Balancing Security and Convenience

Without right to repair legislation, consumers have no choice but to send their faulty electronic gadgets to repair facilities owned by the device’s manufacturer or retailer. Anyone who has had to deal with a broken device knows how costly this can be.

Even if the device is still under warranty, the process can take an absurd amount of time. To avoid this delay, some people turn to unauthorized repair kiosks, but they don’t have legal access to official spare parts.

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Image Credit: Tyler Lastovich/Pexels

Tech industry giants, such as Apple and Microsoft, have actively lobbied against right to repair laws. Apple has been particularly outspoken in their opposition, claiming the legislation could lead to liability concerns and security issues.

The Security Innovation Center (SIC), a new tech industry lobby group, echoes this sentiment. “We are concerned that the proposed bill, written with the best of intentions, is laced with unintended consequences that could lead to the creation of more vulnerabilities for California consumers,” SIC consumer privacy advisor Tim Sparapani said in statement.

Security is, indeed, a concern of every smartphone or gadget owner. Equally important, however, is access to more affordable repair services, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Kit Walsh.

“The bill is critical to protect independent repair shops and a competitive market for repair, which means better service and lower prices,” Walsh said in the news release.

Right to repair legislation could also encourage more people to try to fix their own devices, increasing innovation. It would presumably decrease the number of devices that owners simply discard because buying a new one isn’t much more expensive than paying for repairs, too.

“People shouldn’t be forced to ‘upgrade’ to the newest model every time a replaceable part on their smartphone or home appliance breaks,” said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste, in the news release. “These companies are profiting at the expense of our environment and our pocketbooks as we become a throw-away society that discards over 6 million tons of electronics every year.”

California already has strong repair laws and a long history of pro-consumer legislation, so Eggman’s bill has a fair chance of passing into law in the state. No word yet on when that might be, but if Silicon Valley’s home state does pass right to repair legislation, it could mark a turning point in consumer protection policies across the nation.

The post Proposed California Law Would Give You the Right to Repair Your Tech appeared first on Futurism.

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Comment: I instinctively support ‘right to repair’ but do appreciate the trade-offs

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Some eighteen states have now signed a Right to Repair bill, with California the latest to sign up. The bills say that manufacturers must facilitate DIY and third-party repairs by publishing repair information and making both replacement parts and diagnostic tools available to consumers.

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California Becomes Eighteenth State to Introduce Right to Repair Bill

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California became the eighteenth state in the United States to announce the Right to Repair bill. If the legislation is passed by the state, it would end up making it compulsory for manufacturers to share repair guides for their products and sell diagnostic tools and repair parts directly to consumers. Continue reading
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California to Introduce ‘Right to Repair’ Bill Requiring Smartphone Manufacturers to Offer Repair Info and Parts

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California is preparing to join several other states with a new Right to Repair bill, which will require smartphone manufacturers to provide repair information, replacement parts, and diagnostic tools to product owners and independent repair shops.

California Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman this afternoon announced plans to introduce the new California Right to Repair Act. Eggman says the bill will provide consumers with the freedom to choose a repair shop of their choice.

iPhone X image via iFixit

“The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence,” Eggman said.

Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste said smartphone manufacturers and home appliance makers are “profiting at the expense of our environment and our pocketbooks” while Kit Walsh, Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the new bill is “critical to protect independent repair shops and a competitive market for repair,” which will lead to “better service and lower prices.”

In addition to California, 17 other states have already introduced similar Right to Repair legislation, including Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Several states began introducing Right to Repair legislation early last year, and the Right to Repair movement has continued on since then, spurred by Apple’s iPhone throttling controversy.

Since last year, Apple has been lobbying against Right to Repair bills in various states, as have several other technology companies. In Nebraska, for example, Apple said approving Right to Repair would turn the state into a “mecca for bad actors” making it “easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska.” Other arguments from tech companies and appliance manufacturers have suggested Right to Repair bills would compromise device security and safety.

Right to Repair bills are heavily endorsed by repair outlets like iFixit, independent repair shops, and consumer advocacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

In California specifically, the Right to Repair bill is particularly interesting because as Motherboard points out, there are strong repairability laws already in place. California Civil Code Section 1793.03 states that companies must offer parts for repair for at least seven years after a product is released, which is why on Apple’s vintage and obsolete products list, it lists California as the sole state where consumers can continue to get repairs on vintage products.

Apple currently requires customers who have Apple products in need of repair to visit an Apple retail store, mail a product to an Apple repair facility, or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to receive support for their devices. Repairs from third-party repair shops that are not Apple Authorized Service Providers can void a device’s warranty.

Apple’s current flagship iPhone, the iPhone X, earned a repairability score of 6 from repair site iFixit. Repairs on the device require a special Apple-specific screw driver, delicate cables are often in the way and are difficult to replace, and Apple’s waterproofing makes repairs complicated. Other Apple products, like MacBooks, have much lower repairability scores.

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