Am I alone in thinking that the upgrade treadmill we find ourselves on with cutting edge tech devices is somewhat irksome? Sure, we all love the latest gadget or upgrade that is so seductively packaged with new features such that your life just won’t be complete without it. Then before you realise, you to have bitten the bullet and bought into yet another next upgrade step.
Additionally, with the trend for manufacturers to seal products there’s little opportunity for us to gain access for repair. Even with the most nimblest of hands, even changing a smartphone battery becomes an impractical feat for most of us. This puts the control firmly in the hands of the manufacturers who are continuously innovating the next must have device.
If lifecycles for devices could be increased by the ability to repair them and the lengthening of the upgrade cycle, then in the instance of smartphones if these had a life of 4 years, the impact of resourcing, mining and production would be halved; that’s one sizeable global environmental impact.
Countering the trend of irreparable smart phones is Fairphone (https://www.fairphone.com/en/), built with ethically sourced materials, available with open source repair manuals and even repairable with 3D printable components. Maybe the planet and us consumers would both be better off if other leading smartphone manufacturers took the bold step and adopted this more people and earth friendly business model?
Article inspired by PC Pro’s Dan Stevenson ‘fixing the unfixable’.
About the Author
Simon Thomas is a founding partner of Toucan Internet LLP, making a difference for clients looking for greater and unexpected outcomes from their digital engagement. Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies.