Apple Feedback

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

December 1, 2018

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Categories: The Balancing Act

I have an iPhone 6. I bought it when it launched 4 years ago. I upgraded from a 4s, which I had purchaed about a few months after the launch. I don’t mind buying tech new, with the hope that it will have the longest life with me. 

You see, we are the type of household who enjoys owning their cars outright. We are also the type of household with mechanical ability (namely my husband’s). So, when something breaks, with some research, the right tools, and the right parts, we can repair what was broken. Sometimes mistakes are made (ask me about the time I got to have the fire department come to the gas station twice, two weeks in a row), and we have to do a repair more than we wanted. But, we can fix things. We can make them last. We can make them exceed their average product lifecycle. 

This is hugely important as a tenant of sustainability where you use a thing UP until it has no life left. Then you recycle it. So, within one product we are doing all the using. Occassionly we pass things on so it can be resused with someone else. But, generally, we use it up, repair it, use it up again, until it cannot be repaired. And, then we repurpose or recycle it. That is a key component of addressing the environemntal impact aspect of sustainblity

So many modern companies refuse to build this into their product cycles, and my favorite tech company is one. So, with that iPhone 6, it’s a slippery devil. Case or no case, it flies out of my hands. One Fat Tuesday, it fell out of my hand and landed in the donut shop’s parking lot. That evening, my WiFi didn’t work. I had to replace the battery. And, after the umpteenth time of my poor phone falling and landing on asphalt and concrete, the screen cracked. Well, I probably had unseated the WiFi antenna gain, and the used battery needed to be replaced, so the mechanically inclined husband and I waited until all the parts arrived before repairing all three things. (The antenna is the worst, by the way.) Once all three things were repaired my coveted touch sensor didn’t work, even with replacing the home button. That means my larger phone (though not the largest) can’t use the handy “reachability” function. No more touch ID. AND the home button no longer wakes up my phone. What the heck Apple? Driving proprietary repairs? Your techs would never do as thorough a job as my husband, we have the comparisons to vouch for that, so I don’t trust them with your coveted equipment. 

Okay, rambling irritation aside, I did send a four-part feedback message to Apple. I hope they read it. In the meantime, I am turning this diary ramble into a call to action – we need to rise up and DEMAND passage of “Right to Repair Laws” that would make this proprietary lockdown illegal. 

Four Part Apple Feedback 

Give Apple Feedback on your own device(s). Just visit www.apple.com/feedback and follow the prompts on the short form. Here’s the most recent feedback I gave.

screen replacement no more Touch ID 1 of 4

My phone fell, for the umpteenth time, and the screen broke. My phone has been out of warranty for almost two years. The hardware is more or less fine, I have no general speed concerns, I have enough memory, and I have a husband who is mechanically inclined. As such I have no desire to replace my phone. We found a replacement screen, third party, and replaced it. The Touch ID no longer works. I am concerned this is a software compatibility issue such as that which happened with iOS 11.3 and iOS 9. 

screen replacement no more Touch ID 2 of 4

At the September Apple Event, a portion of the event was dedicated to discussing Apple’s measures towards sustainability, including ensuring as much of a product can be reused or recycled can be reused or recycled. Sustainability is SO much more than recycling. It is ensuring you are running in the black, financially.  It is full-product care – ensuring the entire lifecycle of a product is sustainable from cradle to grave, or cradle to cradle. And, it is ensuring you are taking care of your people to the best of your ability (aka, don’t contract with firms that routinely have suicide nets because that’s their version of taking care of people). 

screen replacement no more Touch ID 3 of 4

Apple has built their reputation on thinking differently. I challenge you to think differently than the average capitalist. I challenge you to think differently than your predecessors without sacrificing EXCELLENCE, INNOVATION, and PRODUCT CARE. Making it so my husband cannot fix a piece of hardware that is more or less fine flies in the face of all of this. It is not excellent. It does not care for the product. And it steals from any potential innovation. 

screen replacement no more Touch ID 4 of 4

Apple, YOU CAN AND SHOULD do better. How often, I wonder, has Jobs rolled over in his grave over how shit has been handled? Lead. Truly lead. 

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