Are we losing control over devices?

What comes to mind when one encounters a functioning gadget that was purchased in the 1970s? Some sense of pride. Pride in the owner for good maintenance, and in the manufacturer for quality design, materials and assembly. The sense of pride demonstrated hereby implies that certain aspects have been lost in the current generation.

One can say with confidence that quality has not been lost. There have been many discoveries on design and materials. Moreover, with automation, assembling devices has been improved. What has changed is therefore good maintenance. People no longer take pride in maintaining their gadgets.

Although one can easily put blame on the current generation for the lack of proper maintenance of the their gadgets, manufacturers also have a role to play. All devices are vulnerable and prone to damage. However, the older generation countered this problem with time to time repair and replacement of malfunctioning parts.

Today, devices are designed with decreased ability to make repairs. This has progressively led to a loss of control over devices in terms of repair and modification. Some of the related design and assembly issues include:

  • Soldering of devices in major assemblies, increasing replacement costs
  • Using adhesive leads that secure the batteries and the screen, making it hard to open devices or replace the battery
  • Burying the battery under the motherboard and adhering it to the mid-frame, making it difficult to replace the batteries
  • Using too many hidden screws to secure the motherboard, making it difficult to access the circuitry without damage

The implication is that the purchasers does not really own the devices, since they cannot make any changes to the device without causing further damage. With this loss of control, there is no pride in keeping any device as one would not certainly store damaged, irreparable gadgets when new ones continually flood the market at affordable costs. However, there are brands that still have high levels of repairability for instance Dell, HP and LG.

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