Last week we brought in the dismantling of the AirPods Pro made by iFixit and proving that, like their cheaper brothers, Apple's new headphones are also basically “Disposable” that is, eventually their tiny battery will stop holding charge and you will have to pay a small exorbitant fee to replace them or simply give up the process and buy new headphones.
Because today the iFixit published a new article still dealing with the subject and raising a question: theoretically, AirPods Pro could be more repairable their structure, unlike their cheaper brothers, prone to a friendlier design for repairs. Why does Apple prefer to keep the headphones almost inaccessible then?
The publication notes that AirPods Pro have much more common batteries than traditional AirPods, similar to circular clock batteries. The components are on top of the headphones, next to the drivers while the most “valuable” parts of the set (processor, microphones, antennas, sensors) are housed in the “leg” of the devices.
It would not be impossible for Apple, therefore, to create a design in which these two parts would separate (even if only with the help of special tools, to avoid unwanted opening or the like) and it would be possible to keep the "brain" of the AirPods. Pro intact while replacing the battery or a defective audio component of the headphones.
However, we know that this is not how the band plays: the opening of the accessories is basically destri the headphones in the process; Even if you get access to the inside of them, all of their components are glued or soldered and it is impossible to replace a part (or even the battery, which will inevitably degrade over time) loose in the tangle of circuits and glue.
Before it is said that no one should be requiring repairability on such tiny components, it is worth remembering that this is possible: Galaxy budsFor example, they may have their batteries replaced without the headphones being completely destroyed; iFixit itself has a guide to the process, and while we're not talking about the simplest job in the world, any technical assistance (authorized or unauthorized) or advanced user can do it with some time and have handsets working like new and “Basically intact” at the end of the story.
In the end, AirPods' “disposability” brings two problems: in addition to turning them into products with a short lifespan (numerous reports indicate significant loss of capacity with just a year and a half or two of regular use), it creates a huge amount of dead headphones that will only be partially recycled.
It's true that Ma tries to mitigate these two problems, the first with the AirPods exchange program, and the second with a recycling scheme set up with its suppliers (and indeed, if you want my opinion). But she could be doing much more.