Ifixit flunks Apple's new educational Ipad as nearly un-repairable

Apple's education-centric new Ipad is meant to be used in rambunctious classrooms where drops and other abuse will be commonplace; it is also meant to compete with relatively easy-to-service Pixelbooks that school district IT departments can fix themselves or get repaired by a wide variety of independent, local service depots whose community-based technicians do repairs onsite and also keep local tax dollars circulating in the community.

Ifixit's teardown of the new Ipad reveals that Apple has made this model even less repairable than previous ones, which set a high bar for low consideration given to third-party serviceablility. The Ipad is stuck together with difficult-to-service glue, rather than screws, making minor repairs and even battery-swaps into major operations.

There are a few bright spots — Ifixit likes the "air-gapped, separately replaceable cover glass and LCD makes many drop damage repairs far less expensive" — but the overall grade is a rock-bottom 2/10.

Apple's designers are notorious for making systems that work well and fail badly, designed to be end-of-lifed when the company tires of supporting them, and designed to be effectively impossible to service without Apple's blessing, meaning that any time you find yourself with equipment Apple doesn't care to support, or far from an Apple depot, you're out of luck. This design philosophy was substantially normalized through the Ipad, and Apple's hostility to independent repair businesses is shameless; that's why Apple is such a vocal opponent of right-to-repair legislation.

Long-term serviceablility and gracefully degradation back into the part and material stream are good design, every bit as importance as slim form-factors and responsive UIs. Companies that deliberately design their products to be shredded rather than fixed are environmental criminals, not good corporate citizens, nor are they practicing good design — no matter how lickable they make their rounded corners.

They're also a drag on the economy: recycling 1000 tons of electronics creates 15 jobs; repairing the same mountain of potential ewaste creates 200 jobs, and lets the public get more value out their property.

iPad 6 Teardown [Ifixit]