Smartphones, iPads == Toasters, We Replace Instead of Fixing Them

There was a time when things you bought could be repaired by ordinary people. In the early days of automobiles, nearly every car owner had to know how to fix it (mostly because they broke down so often). If you ask your father or grandfather, they may remember taking a dead vacuum tube out of TV and going to a local hardware store to find one that matched it to get the TV up and running again. The only way to get a working microcomputer (as we called them back then) was to build it from a kit. And, I remember buying my first Hayes Smartmodem 300 (300 buad / bits per second) and having to write my own terminal emulator app (in assembler) over the weekend before I could actually use it. We were more a DIY (do it yourself) people back then. Today, however, we tend to throw away a toaster instead of having it repaired as was common decades ago. We now consider an appliance to be something to throw away when it stops working. So, I am not surprised (although somewhat disappointed) to learn this from Engadget:

Dead iPad battery? Never mind replacing it, Apple just sends another iPad for $99

Engadget noted Apple’s iPad battery replacement policy is to replace the entire unit for $99 plus shipping ($105.95 total). This means that you will get a new or refurbished replacement iPad with factory settings and none of your data. This should not be too much of an issue if you regularly sync your iPad with a PC or Mac since iTunes should back it up during every sync just like an iPhone or iPod. Everything except your media (songs, video, etc.) will be restored at the next sync. And, if you sync over the air (OTA) with Google Sync, you don’t even need to do that to get your contacts, calendar, and Gmail email back up and running.

Smartphones and, apparently, the iPad are 21st century toasters from a repair point of view. If this bothers you, get over it. I don’t think we are going back to the days of DIY.