Why you can't fix your smartphone

I tried to fix my phone and all I got was this right to repair video

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References & Works Cited: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u2mQeqqpfciR6Rlmq598xUuf_RUCfhj8k0QoGFoIXJE/edit?usp=sharing

0:00 Confession
0:51 E-WASTE
18:19 CARE
21:01 LABOR

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38 Commentaires
  1. I started working on this video in 2018 when my first generation google pixel was falling to pieces and I saw a poster about Right to Repair in a camera store. Thank you so much to everyone who I spoke to along that journey, for letting me into your repair spaces and taking time with me even if the video wouldn't see the light of day for several years.

    (All the in person footage was filmed in 2019,,, hence the lack of masks. Stay safe out there folks.)

  2. this is very cool! I'm useless with electronics but I am trying to get into a repair mindset by learning to mend my clothes, shoes, and bags.

  3. Thanks for covering this, especially as this has gotten worse and worse over the last few years. Between servicer-locked vehicles like Tesla and John Deere, paired and locked components in iPhones and other cell carriers with limited authorized repairs, and smart devices with cloud dependence and forced lifetimes, there's never been a more important time for right to repair.
    I repaired my Nokia 7.1 a year ago, replacing the charging port and battery with questionable replacements from ebay sellers (mic was almost unusable) and had to get in touch with a random Russian developer to hack through the manufacturer lock to unlock it for a version and safety upgrade. The knowledge and background needed for that repair was absurd.
    I'm a technology teacher, and I love teaching repair and showing older devices. We need this. Even if it isn't for everyone, repair is important.

  4. This video is 🔥, and perhaps the BEST exploration ever done on the Right and Repair movement. I like that you took the extra mile to not just deal with usual talking points like climate change (which by all means is important), but also on areas like the ethics with our current labor practices and sentimentality. The people you've interviewed are clearly passionate and well-involved with the subject matter, and the perspective on sentimentality totally opened my mind.

    It's even more amazing that this was filmed so long ago!

  5. I m waiting for the new Tesla pi phone😊🇸🇪

  6. I have a refrigerator that is at least 30 years old and running fine. But new refrigerators have issues and break down all the time.

  7. Great work on this subject! My Galaxy s8+ was purchased used as a 2-year-old phone back in 2019. I'm still using it today!
    battery is half of the life it once was but the device still functions perfectly fine!

    Wow, you started making this video 3 years ago? Now, I don't feel so bad for the videos that I've started but haven't completed!

  8. Great video! It highlights such an important and infuriating issue, while providing lots of opportunities to act. Thanks for the great content!

  9. Our robotic vacuum cleaner no longer works because part of the plastic case cracked off and loosened the front wheel. Replacing all those perfectly functional components for such a small problem is the definition of absurd. Today is hot glue gun day, wish me luck!

  10. I have my computer mouse for almost 10 years now, because I have learned to fix the buttons so they don't do double clicks. It never had any other problem.

    Also, I stay away from USB-C because it's too small and you cannot easily connect to the individual pins if you need to hack something.

  11. I am not in favour of any governamental intervation, just stop recognizing any IP or right to restrict repairs which were allowed by the government.

  12. I'm betting you already know, but did you reach out to Louis Rossman? He has a big YouTube channel, has an unauthorized Apple repair shop, and does some work with the Right to Repair legal battles.

  13. 🙏🏼👍🏼👍🏼

  14. Thanks thanks a lot for the video

  15. infant incubators?? INFANT INCUBATORS?!?

  16. Great video! Have you considered buying a second-hand phone?

  17. I don’t believe you really ‘own’ a product if you can’t repair it. Which considering the generally hyper individual material mindset many Americans have should be enough to enrage people. I’ve had luck getting repairs done at a shop in the east village but outside of NY that kind of place rarely exists, you’re right. Same with all types of repairs. There are still cobblers in Brooklyn. I don’t know if many outside of that area. Instrument specialists are becoming an issue too for different reasons, how many harp techs do you know? And what is the solution

  18. Outstanding work!
    Very well explained and with great interviews!
    I also love how you implemented the devices by using their screens!

  19. I wish we could still have the choice to buy phones with replaceable batteries…
    Swapping out an old battery shouldn't fall under repair, it should fall under basic accessible maintenance.
    Imagine having to take apart your car's fuel cap by heating it up to soften the glue, so you can refuel it, that would be n awful task.

  20. Lots of farmers have been pitching absolute fits for years because their machines will break down (but only by chance, toootally not by design 🙄), but there will be a backlog of repair orders, and they're not allowed to fix it themselves, so they'll have to try to manually harvest as much crops as they can (probably having to pay people to help) or just let that year's crop rot and go to waste while waiting for John Deere to send an "authorized" tech to fix it. In the meantime, food prices go up because that year's crops were wasted. Everybody loses except for John Deere. 😠

    Worse, when the tech does come, it's rarely a mechanic to fix mechanical parts, it's usually just a computer guy who uses a secret code to reboot the vehicle's control software. As someone who slept in a tree for a month, I'm sure Kurtis is unhappy with the current state of affairs. 🤦

    I wonder if someone can make something for John Deere devices like the Kytch that was made for ice-cream machines so that McDonald's and its ilk don't have to be slave to Taylor in the same way. 🤔

    As for electronics, Apple is leading the charge to prevent people from being able to modify or change or repair anything. Louis Rossmann has documented a lot of Apple's anti-consumer tactics that have NOTHING to do with safety or even trade-secrets, like locking the device to a specific genuine, first-party, authorized Apple part (eg swapping the screens on two real iPhones will no longer work 🤨). As Louis has explained, getting your products "fixed" official by Apple doesn't actually fix it, they usually just give you a refurbished replacement (eg one with a new battery) and throw the old one in the trash (along with your data because unlike a third-party repair shop, Apple doesn't care about customers and won't bother to back up or transfer your data 🤦). But then, what do you expect from a company that expects everybody to drop hundreds of dollars every couple of years on a new device that's barely any different form the last model? 🙄

    Preventing the repair of hospital equipment is just absurd; it's no different form the Wannacry ransomware attack that hit the NHS and literally cost lives; how has that not had government intervention? 😠

    As usual, Europe is leading the way. They lead the way protecting privacy and people's data with things like the GDPR, while North America lagged behind (a couple of US states have taken it upon themselves to legislate it for themselves since the federal government is dragging its feet, while Canada hasn't even mentioned it 🤦). Fortunately, Biden has already begun working to push for Right-to-Repair (Trudeau is probably too high to remember what a cell-phone even is).

    I'm glad they mentioned sentimental value. The world has had so much sorrow in it from things that have personal meaning being broken. Being able to fix things that have sentimental value makes the world better.

    This anti-repair movement by manufacturers is as feckless as anti-piracy attempts, it never works, it will always be cracked. Even HARDWARE DRM can and eventually will be cracked (viz the Xbox 260 "kamikaze hack" 🤯). It accomplishes nothing other than to frustrate, annoy, and piss off customers and make the world WORSE, all so that absurdly rich billionaires can get slightly richer and selfishly hog all the monies for themselves at the expense of the rest of the planet. 😠

  21. "The most sustainable phone is the one you already own" – according to Fairphone, who I believe, make the most ethical and repairable phone available at the moment.

  22. Nice to have you back with such an amazing video!
    And you even found other advocates than Louis Rossmann 😀

  23. This is great, super high production value and added impact with the input from other experts. Well done!

  24. Very well produced!

    I'm trying to decide what phone to upgrade to next: a Fairphone (modular, repairable, relatively more ethical) or a foldable.

    Hopefully repairability catches on enough for transforming tablets, phones and laptops too.

  25. This is very cool! Honestly I wish I could have repaired my old phone, I loved my old phone. Also I couldn't afford a new phone, so I kept using my broken phone for almost a year after it broke – despite the screen occasionally leaving pieces of glass in my fingers, the lower 1/3 of the screen display beign unreadable, everything being covered in this green light, it taking 9+ hours to fully charge and losing battery life in just 3 hours, the volume buttons being sticky, etc. etc.

    It was definitely well past the point that having that phone was dangerous for me, but because nobody could repair it and because I couldn't afford a new one I just kept using it even though it barely worked.

  26. I've been keeping my Samsung S8+ alive despite the screen and USB port breaking. I replaced the USB port and put some thermal pads under/over the cpu, storage, ram, section of the board to fix the screen. Also as an added bonus the back comes off a lot easier now since I didn't glue it shut as strongly so the phone's a lot more repairable. The obvious loss in waterproofing is not that big of an issue for me.

  27. if the maker insists upon theier anual profitmargin then make them responsible for all following environmental costs!

  28. It really annoys me that 'old' phones only a few years old don't receive updates even though they can work a long time still. I'm not sure what to do about this, I want it to change!

  29. I bought a Jolla phone from Finland, because of its high quality. The Jolla company, that chose quality over quantity, sells no longer phones any more, because they couldn't compete. 🙁
    Eight years later I still have and use my old Jolla phone, which is still working fine. I am looking at the moment to replace it, but it isn't really necessary yet. Currently I am keeping eye on the Pine Phone, because it uses Open Source software ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinephone ), but I have no idea if the hardware quality of this phone is good yet, because it is still very new and still in beta… we'll see I guess. 🙂

  30. Do I really need a phone? I never needed a watch. I don't succumb easily to peer pressure, makes me feel free'er, a lill bit…

  31. I recently repaired my phone, replaced basically everything except for the mainboard and the back case.
    Even kept the old battery and old screen. While the old battery couldn't hold enough charge for a phone. It's perfectly fine my hobby of mine to DIY IoT devices.
    Don't know what to do with the old screen, but I'll figure something out eventually.

    Generally don't try to throw electronic. Old charging cables are cut up to get the copper wire.

  32. Great video, thanks for covering this !

  33. Given the complexity of electronic devices the amount of waste in the supply chain will be huge. Every step of manufacturing will see waste accumulate.

  34. This is a very big issue and growing we should be able to repair the electronics and or recycle them so that the metals like nickel copper in some cases gold can be reused along with all the circuit boards and batteries

  35. I'll never forget the time in college when the off button on my (at the time) brand-new iPhone 4 broke. I took it to the Apple Store and the technician immediately identified that the problem was just that the spring attached to the button had come loose, then said that he wasn't allowed to fix it but could sell me a new $400 phone. He also showed me a work-around to turn the phone off using the accessibility settings, and I used that work-around for like 7 years before the phone finally died, because the only other option was just buying a brand new one in order to replace a single spring.

  36. One point with product longevity that I simply hate is the software issue. Especially in phones, that are still functioning well enough to keep going -but the OS license expires and you get no updates. This means that surprisingly quickly most apps you would like to use will start to have problems and simply won't be usable anymore.

    This is one gripe that I have when phone manufacturers inform that they have released a phone with "long lifespan" (like Fairphone or Nokia), and even if their hardware would keep the phone going for years, they have no OS support for more than 2-3 years. And that is still the same lifespan as I have had for cheaper models that have fallen out of usability for that exact reason. Not for breaking down, but becouse of lack of updates.
    And besides phones, my former workplace has similar problem with field research equipment -all OS systems are updating towards touch screen (which can be abysmal to use in the field when weather conditions are not optimal -simple rain for example) they are going to have to update all the hardware of the fieldworking equipment for less-optimal ones simply because newer OS doesn't support it anymore. That's hundreds of well working electronic devices that would still do the job just fine -propably even better than the sub-optimal touch-screen only devices.

    Personally I've decided that if any phone manufacturer decides to sell a repairable phone with subscription based OS, then no matter the OS itself, I will support that model (after my current phone dies) rather than buy another phone with maxed 3 year lifespan.

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