Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Jul 2017 17:07 UTC
In the News

"We must reinstate the reparability of all products put on the market," said Parliament's rapporteur Pascal Durand MEP: "We have to make sure that batteries are no longer glued into a product, but are screwed in so that we do not have to throw away a phone when the battery breaks down. We need to make sure that consumers are aware of how long the products last and how they can be repaired".

Parliament wants to promote a longer product lifespan, in particular by tackling programmed obsolescence for tangible goods and for software.

This is a very noble goal, but I am afraid that in many product segments, this ship has sailed. Does anybody honestly expect, for instance, smartphone makers to go back to screwed cases and removable batteries? I would love if they did, but I just don't see it happening.

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Comment by sj87
by sj87 on Wed 5th Jul 2017 18:15 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

They should rather standardize the batteries even if it came at a slight cost of regressing battery life. Repairability means nothing when spare parts cost easily more than the re-sale value of the whole machine or they are crappy Chinese fakes.

There is absolutely no reason for the batteries to be unique-to-device when actual device geometry varies only by 1-2 mm per dimension. (When talking about mobile phones; with laptops the issue is even more neglible.)

Edited 2017-07-05 18:20 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by sj87
by Alfman on Wed 5th Jul 2017 19:25 in reply to "Comment by sj87"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

sj87,

There is absolutely no reason for the batteries to be unique-to-device when actual device geometry varies only by 1-2 mm per dimension. (When talking about mobile phones; with laptops the issue is even more neglible.)


We had the same requirement for standard batteries with digital cameras, at least up until a several years ago. It went from the vast majority of cameras using standard batteries to virtually none of them without compromising on other aspects. So with our last two cameras we bought cameras with proprietary batteries and chargers, we didn't really have any choice. You are right that it creates more waste and difficulties compared to having batteries that are standardized and interchangeable.

I'm not saying the old standards from years ago shouldn't be updated to more modern use cases, but we transitioned from universal standards to completely proprietary batteries that are only good for that device and have to be special ordered ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by sj87
by flanque on Wed 5th Jul 2017 22:45 in reply to "Comment by sj87"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

There's truth in this. One of the boards in my $1k LED TV broke and the cost to replace the board was $2k.

How?!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by sj87
by The123king on Thu 6th Jul 2017 10:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by sj87"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

Someone bought the TV, took the part out, and charged a markup on it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by sj87
by Megol on Sat 8th Jul 2017 08:07 in reply to "RE: Comment by sj87"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

There's truth in this. One of the boards in my $1k LED TV broke and the cost to replace the board was $2k.

How?!


While that is a bit extreme please realize that replacement parts are generally more expensive as the overheads are larger.
To distribute replacement parts costs money, keeping an inventory of parts is expensive and disassembly plus assembly takes time. Testing, both for determining which parts are faulty is time consuming in general and there have to be testing after assembly to verify the device works. There fact that there have to be repairers available costs money too.

Compare this with the considerably less overheads of keeping an inventory at the original assembly site and the testing, assembly etc. being done in a carefully designed pipeline. Management of people and parts are trivial and doesn't involve multiple sites spread all over the world.

The way to reduce repair costs are to subvention them in the original device price - but that simply doesn't work as less devices would be sold in the first place. Even for the consumer the current model is generally the best as the combined price (device cost + chance_of_failure*cost_of_repair) is probably the lowest possible.

Reply Parent Score: 2