Right To Repair

“What would a smartphone look like if it could last for 10 years?”

As Apple debuted its latest iPhone 14 model, New York Times columnist Brian Chen wondered what a smartphone that was designed for durability, repairability and upgradability might look like. 

broken-phone-screen-vera-petrunina-via-shutterstock
Vera Petrunina | Shutterstock.com

As Apple debuted its latest iPhone 14 model, New York Times columnist Brian Chen wondered what what a smartphone that was designed for durability, repairability and upgradability might look like.

“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 a cracked screen,” Chen wrote. “Many of its components would be able to 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.”

The Fairphone 4 was designed with these factors in mind—but it is only available in Europe. “The broader point is that tech companies with incredible wealth could do a better job of making their phones easier to repair and friendlier to the environment and our wallets,” Chen explains. “And we, as consumers, could do better by changing how we think about personal technology.”

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