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Will The iPhone 5 Be Repairable?

iFixIt’s Elizabeth observes that as expected, that with the just announced iPhone 5, to be released September 21st along with new versions of the iPod touch and nano, Apple has continued its thinner-and-lighter trend, with the new handset being 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S, despite a screen thats half an inch longer on the diagonal. iPhone 5 also has a new Lightning dock connector, the first new Apple mobile device connector in 9 years.

She notes that some aspects of the announcement seemed to bode well for durability and repairability:
• The iPhone rear panels will be aluminum rather than glass, like older models, decreasing the chances that you’ll damage the panel beyond repair.
• New iPod nanos will have a built-in wrist strap connector, which might mean fewer dropped iPods.
• The iPhone still has visible screws, so Apple has not locked us out completely.

On the other hand, Elizabeth observes that the new Apple phone will have in-cell touchscreen technology likely binding the digitizer to the front glass, and may join the growing list of Apple devices with fused display assemblies, including the new iPad and the MacBook Pro with Retina display. A fused display makes replacing a broken front panel a much more expensive and intensive process.

She also draws our attention to Apple’s claims that each phone is unique to the micron, with chief designer Jony Ive describing in a video (http://www.apple.com/iphone/#video) how Apple is manufacturing 725 minutely different-sized rear panels, photographing each device and matching it with a panel that fits perfectly.

However, she deduces that this will not negatively impact repairability, since a few dozen microns of difference between a panel and a phone would not be easily perceptible.

Look for a more complete analysis to come with the iFixIt teardown: T-minus 8 days.

For the full report visit here:
http://bit.ly/Pwd504

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