Headline, September 14 2022/ ''' '' FAIRPHONE FROM FAIRYLAND '' '''



A SMARTPHONE BUILT TO LAST A DECADE? IT'S POSSIBLE. So, what would a smartphone look like if it could last for 10 years?

It's a question that most of us have not had the luxury of pondering. That's because many smartphones are designed to be replaced every two or three years. And Apple, Samsung and other handset makers unveil new models - along with big marketing campaigns - each year, encouraging us to upgrade.

BEAR WITH ME and fantasize a bit. If a smartphone were designed to last a decade, it would probably be made so that we could simply open it up to replace a part like a depleted battery or cracked screen.

Many of its components could be upgraded - if you wanted a better camera, you could just swap out the old one for a newer, more powerful one. You could also download software updates from the phone's maker indefinitely.

Sensible and Sustainable, right? Thinking of what such a device might be like is especially relevant now as phone season - that time of year when tech companies blitz us with new models - begins again. Last Wednesday, Apple unveiled the iPhone 14, which bears a striking resemblance to its predecessor.

Also this week Google announced plans to show new Android phones in October. And last month Samsung introduced a new array of cellphones that fold like books.

These latest wares underscores that today's smartphones aren't made for longevity. Most of the gadgets come tightly sealed up with glue to keep you out of them. Parts, like cameras and screens, are impossible to upgrade a la carte. Software updates are guaranteed for only a finite amount of time.

Keeping us on short cycles of smart phone ownerships is great for tech companies and their coffers - but maybe less for us and our wallets.

Don Norman, a former vice president for advanced technology at Apple and the author of nearly two dozen books on design, said smartphone makers were guilty of treating consumer technology like fashion wear, releasing products each year that become harder to repair and adding features that hasten obsolescence.

''You want to make the computer out of one piece of metal, and you want it to be as thin as possible,'' Mr. Norman said. ''So you had to make the battery with no case so it gets really hard to get to. You use glue instead of screws.''

YET THE IDEA OF A LONGER-LASTING PHONE NEEDN'T BE A FANTASY. One already exists : the $580 Fairphone 4 made by startup, Fairphone, in Amsterdam.

The Fairphone 4, which is sold only in Europe, has a plastic cover that can be removed easily to expose its innards, its components can be swapped out in minutes by removing few ordinary screws.

The idea behind the Fairphone is that if you want a phone with new technology, you can get it without having to replace your current device entirely - and if something goes wrong with the phone - for instance, if you drop it - it can be easily fixed.

That makes the Fairphone the antithesis of most smartphones today and shows low tech companies can design the gadgets differently, for durability and sustainability.


Take your iPhone or Android phone and look at it closely. Notice how it is shut tight with unique screws that require special screwdrivers.

But the Fairphone comes with a small screwdriver that invites you to open up the phone. So, when I began testing it, that was the first thing I did.

Taking the Fairphone apart turned out to be a breeze. Removing its plastic cover exposed its camera, battery, speakers and other components. They were held in place with ordinary screws that could be quickly taken out with the screwdriver.

In less than five minutes, I removed all of those parts. In about the same amount of time, I reassembled the phone.

The experience of taking the phone apart was empowering. I had the confidence that if I had to do a repair or some basic maintenance, like swapping a new camera or battery, I could do so in minutes and cheaply. [Fairphone charges $30 for a new battery and $80 for a new camera.]

Disassembling my iPhone, on the other hand, was a nightmare.

When I took the Apple device apart during a previous test, it involved removing the proprietary screws with a special screwdriver and melting the glue that held the case together. To remove the battery, I had to use tweezers to yank on the tiny strips of glue underneath it.

Even though I eventually succeeded in replacing the battery, I broke the iPhone's screen in the process  -and a replacement display cost about $300.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Consumer Technology, Fixes and Innovations, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Brian X. Chen.

With respectful dedication to enthralled Customers, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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