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At the moment the last thing an iPhone users should do is attempt to fold their high-cost handset in half to make it more portable. Apple is already under pressure as a result of the bendgate and touch disease scandals, both of which focus on the alleged fragility of its flagship devices, with some of this attention being undeserved given that none of its handsets has been designed to survive excessive amounts of pressure being thrust upon them.
However, a patent awarded to the company this month paints a picture of a future in which a foldable iPhone is available to buy, overcoming the weaknesses of its predecessors by embracing flexibility rather than rigidity.
Forbes reports that the patent covers electronic devices which are built to be folded thanks to circuitry based on carbon nanotubes rather than traditional silicon. In the images accompanying the filing, Apple’s designers have showcased what this device might look like, echoing the style of older clamshell mobile phones from a bygone era.
The idea is to create an iPhone which can flex and bend without breaking and needing to be repaired with iSclack mobile phone parts – or at least one which takes a lot more effort to damage than the current crop of solid rectangular models that are on the market at the moment.
The carbon nanotubes allow a degree of flexibility in PCBs and would mean that things like the display panel, touchscreen sensor and other components would be malleable. Although the patent also makes it seem that certain areas of the device would be designed for bending, rather than the entire assembly being as fluid and flexible as material, for example.
Hypothetically, this would make it possible for an iPhone to be hinged in the middle, opening up to reveal its full display size while also being able to fold in half and fit more neatly in the pocket or bag of a user.
This is not the first time that a mobile phone maker has come out with a foldable phone concept, since South Korean firms Samsung and LG have also been developing technology in this area. The fact that Apple has been awarded a patent to protect the concept in the US will no doubt lead to yet more court battles between it and its rivals.
The first foldable iPhone is unlikely to arrive for a few years, since the upcoming iPhone 8, which is set to arrive a decade after Apple first introduced a smartphone, is rumoured to be equipped with an OLED display that follows in the footsteps of its predecessor by being flat.
The first iPhone with a curved body could come out in 2018, if current projections and rumours are to be believed. So 2019 may be the year in which a truly flexible Apple handset hits the market, along with the iSclack mobile phone parts to ensure that it can be mended and maintained when something does go seriously wrong with it.
A design flaw which leads to iPhone 6 Plus models suffering from unresponsive displays and eventual bricking has officially been recognised by Apple, with the Californian firm announcing that it will be setting up a special repair service specifically to tackle it, according to the Guardian.
In its introduction of the programme, Apple pinpointed the source of the problem as being physical impacts and pressure exerted upon the body of the iPhone 6 Plus over a protracted period. So for owners who have dropped their handset on to hard surfaces or kept it in tight trouser pockets or pressed against other objects in bags, the chances of so-called ‘touch disease’ being contracted and requiring repairs with iPhone parts are high.
The cost of Apple’s official solution is set at the equivalent of a little over £100 in the US, with customers in the UK having to wait to find out how much they will need to pay. This price is only applicable when the device is still fully functional and the display itself has not suffered any visible physical damage, meaning it will probable climb higher for those whose handsets are further down the road to total decay.
Denying claims from Apple that only iPhone handsets which have regularly been dropped are susceptible to touch disease, repairs site iFixit has repeatedly stated that it is a problem which stems from the core design of the device itself. As with ‘bend-gate’ before it, this scandal is argued to be one for which the manufacturer should take responsibility rather than something that customers will need to pay to repair out of their own pockets.
Lawsuits have been brought against Apple in the wake of the touch disease story breaking in the summer, with plaintiffs arguing that the manufacturer is actively hiding the fact that it knows about the design flaw in order to avoid having to provide free repairs and iPhone parts to those impacted.
The list of functions which are hindered or rendered entirely unusable by touch disease is extensive, essentially including any kind of interaction which is required to be made via the display itself. What makes this problem particularly severe is that it is alleged to get worse over time, until eventually the handset will not respond to any kind of input.
Although it has been bombarded with questions by customers and the media, Apple has refused to comment further on the touch disease debacle, apart from its launch of the aforementioned repair programme last week. This will not necessarily sit well with fans of the iPhone who had been hoping for a more satisfying resolution, or at least one which will not require them to spend any money.
Anyone with a damaged iPhone can buy spare parts and use affordable third-party repair services to get it fixed rather than going through Apple’s official channels. This is especially useful when dealing with problems that are not covered by the warranty but yet still rear their heads.
Anyone with even a vague interest in tech-related news will know that South Korean firm Samsung has had a tough month in the wake of its decision to recall all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones due to issues with battery combustion. And now it seems that the troubles are not over for it, as it has been forced to recall yet another product line after complaints from customers.
The Guardian reports that the company is having to recall 2.8 million washing machines following hundreds of reports that they were exploding, resulting in a number of injuries being caused.
These machines are, of course, powered by a mains connection, not an onboard battery. As a result, investigators believe that the cause is rooted in the way they spin up to complete cycles, leading to extreme levels of vibration, which effectively makes the affected models fall apart at the seams.
34 different Samsung washer models sold within the past half decade are impacted by the recall, with the company offering free repair or $150 off a new replacement model. Those whose machines are still under their original manufacturer’s guarantee can get a complete refund in most cases.
It is worth noting that while Samsung took the ultimate decision to ditch the Galaxy Note 7 and pull it from the global marketplace, in this instance it is being pushed to enact a recall by US safety regulators.
In a statement issued by Samsung, it said that while the likelihood of something going wrong with its machines was minimal, it was keen to make sure that customer safety was not compromised.
With profits down by close to a third in Q3 this year, the need for yet another major product recall will be the last thing that Samsung will want to have to handle at the moment. And yet it finds itself in a tricky position once again, with the loyalty of its customers hanging by a thread.
Buying Samsung parts to repair a damaged smartphone is an option for many users, especially if the fault is relatively minor. Replacing a battery or adding a new display assembly can be done simply enough in many cases, whether that is on your own or with the assistance of experts.
In the case of washing-machine repairs, leaving it to trained specialists is sensible, especially since Samsung’s recall over in the US will see it paying for the process rather than leaving customers out of pocket.
The sheer number of washing machines which need to be fixed to prevent further instances of damage being done is apparently putting extra pressure on the businesses which offer repair services in America. And there may be a shortage of Samsung parts as a result of just how many models need attention.
The same is not true of Samsung parts for smartphones, as these are readily available and can be purchased affordably by any users who want to bring their phone back from the brink.
In this post we look at the iPhone 7 vs Google Pixel, the basis – repairability. While Google may have used its marketing push for the new Pixel smartphone range to poke fun at the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, independent testing has revealed that Apple has actually done a better job of making its latest handsets easy to repair.
This is according to the first teardown of the Pixel and Pixel XL carried out by iFixit, in which it is pointed out that while there are some design advantages to Google’s fledgling flagships, there are plenty of flaws which mean that it is not ideally suited to being mended by third parties after damage occurs.
Opening up the iPhone 7 is simple enough with tools like the iSesamo, which is designed to quickly and safely remove the display assembly from the chassis of the device without requiring excessive leverage to be applied – this might lead to more damage occurring.
Conversely, the Pixel XL in particular has been criticised because of the complex procedure involved in prying the display out of its housing. The assembly itself is reported to be flimsy and likely to suffer some kind of physical damage as a result of being handled, even by those with experience and specialist tools at their disposal.
Furthermore, the glass coating which protects the underlying OLED panel can become detached without much difficulty, which effectively renders the screen inoperable. Because of this, the Pixel Xl is only able to achieve a six out of ten rating for repairability – a whole point lower than the seven out of ten awarded to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, according to the Inquirer.
The positive aspects of the design of Google’s phone from a repair perspective are the fact that plenty of the parts are designed in a pseudo-modular fashion, meaning they can easily be removed and replaced without much difficulty. From the charging port to headphone input and the battery, quick and simple repairs should be possible in certain instances, as long as actually removing the display to get to these parts does not generate damage in its own right.
People looking to repair their smartphones at home should be aware that there are a number of tools that are required to carry this out with as little disruption as possible. And the iSesamo is certainly a sensible investment, since it uses suction cups to help with disassembly and can be compatible with a number of different smartphone types.
Removing screws in order to release the display is necessary in most instances. And in the case of the Google Pixel range, experts have noted that the firm and its manufacturing partner HTC have opted to use T5 Torx screws, which are an industry standard and thus widely compatible with common tool types.
It is not all bad news for the Pixel range, but if Google was hoping to beat Apple at its own game, then repairability may be the area where it falls short.
By far the most talked-about aspect of the new iPhone range is not a new feature it introduced but rather one it lacked – namely the 3.5mm headphone socket, which Apple chose to ditch in pursuit of thinness. One thing for sure is that there isn’t a hidden headphone socket on your iPhone 7.
The extent of the backlash and discussion surrounding this exclusion has been such that even weeks after the launch people are still talking about it. And now pranksters have been blamed for starting a spate of botched repair attempts after a fake video claiming to help owners uncover hidden headphone support achieved more than 10 million views, according to BBC News.
The clip, while clearly a parody of many other tech-related advice and repair videos posted to the streaming service, has nevertheless been seen as genuine by some. And reports of copycats drilling holes directly into their brand new high-end handset have surfaced, although at this point it is still difficult to separate the fact from the fiction.
The advice from experts is simple: drilling into the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus in the hope that this will allow it to somehow become compatible with standard 3.5mm headphone jacks is simply not an option. Just as attempting to glue iPod parts to an iPad will not achieve the desired results, so too will rash action lead to serious damage.
While some have argued that this video is merely a bit of harmless fun, others have pointed out that the dangers associated with drilling directly into an iPhone go beyond simply rendering it unusable. Penetrating components like the battery could cause harmful substances to leak out and might even result in combustion.
With Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 still in the news as a result of overheating and fires caused by the battery, the issue of smartphone safety is still high on the agenda. And it makes sense to think about how important it is to take device repairs seriously, whether you are installing a new iPhone display or adding iPod parts to an ageing Apple device.
There are many components and tools which are essential when attempting iPhone repairs. And professionals rely on a host of products which are also available on the mainstream market, meaning it is possible for people to fix devices in their own homes.
Of course, anyone who has an iPhone which has suffered damage also has the option of buying the necessary replacement part themselves and then taking it to a professional to get the job done by someone with experience. They will still benefit from the savings that can be made when picking up components online.
One thing that should be clear to anyone who has ever owned an iPhone is that using a drill for any aspect of the repair process is never the right answer. And Apple would be foolish to remove exterior access to the headphone socket from the iPhone 7 only to keep the port hidden under the surface and available only via brute force.
Display technology has evolved significantly over the years, but even in the age of high-end LCD and OLED screens it is still possible for issues to develop over time. And some customers will be disappointed to find that even brand new mobile phones can come with stuck pixels which stick out like a sore thumb and can be very distracting.
The good news is that you do not always need to send your device back if it is under warranty or invest in a replacement display and crack it open with iSesamo tools to carry out repairs. In this post we’ll show you how to fix dead or stuck pixels on phone screens. The following apps are designed to fix pixel issues and work with a range of device types, so here is a quick look at the most reputable solutions on the market at the moment.
What makes this service so impressive is that it runs in a web browser rather than requiring you to install a standalone app, so it can be accessed from most mobile devices, including those running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. All you need to do is run the HTML5-powered service for a maximum of 30 minutes and it should unstick any compromised pixels. Its makers claim that this works in about 60 per cent of instances, while users who are not successful on their first attempt are recommended to repeat the process.
Dead Pixel Detect and Fix
This app’s clunky title is its only downside, as it is otherwise a fully featured dead and stuck pixel fixing service for Android devices. It can be downloaded from the Google Play store and lets users pinpoint problem pixels, even if they are hard to see when the screen is displaying normal content. Like JScreenFix, it will then run a 30-minute program to try to jump-start pixels back into normal operation.
If all else fails, you can attempt to repair stuck pixels using a more direct approach, but be aware that this involves putting pressure on to the screen of your device and could result in more damage being caused, so do so at your own risk. Essentially, you need to turn off the screen, wrap a narrow, blunt object in material which will not cause scratches on its surface and then use it to push against the area in which the problem pixel is located for up to ten seconds at a time. This could help to nudge the pixel back into its correct position and provide on-the-fly, albeit fairly brute-force, repair.
If none of these things works, then the best course of action is to invest in an iSesamo tool to dismantle your handset and remove the display, replacing it with a new unit which does not suffer from the same stuck or dead pixel issues. This is cheaper than having to pay out for a brand new phone, and the work can be carried out by professionals at a surprisingly affordable cost, making repairs far more appealing to most people.
Will there be a dual sim iPhone 7? The rumours continue to mount and Apple fans may be tearing their hair out as they try to assess which industry murmurings are accurate and which are merely wishful thinking.
This week images published on Rock Fix, a site which deals with iPhone repairs in its native China, seemed to show two important aspects of the next Apple flagship, one of which has never been seen before on any of its earlier devices.
Firstly, the snaps imply that the iPhone 7 will be made available with support for two SIM cards at the same time rather than just one. This will mean that users will be able to swap between two mobile numbers, making it a much more appropriate device for enterprise users who want to combine their personal handset with their work mobile without having to carry two devices around with them all day.
Dual SIM slots have been featured on a multitude of other mobiles in the past, but if Apple decides to jump on this bandwagon, it could make it a much more mainstream capability. For the time being, it remains unclear whether or not this dual-SIM version of the iPhone 7 will be launching internationally or restricted to certain markets in which this type of feature is already desirable.
This revelation also raises questions about whether the next generation of Apple’s other devices will also come equipped with dual-SIM support. So perhaps future iPad parts will account for this, making the 4G version of the tablet even more practical.
The second rumour which is debunked by these latest leaks is that of the iPhone 7’s alleged lack of a standard headphone socket.
It had initially been suggested that customers would either need to use Bluetooth headphones or buy a new set that is compatible with the Lightning Connector, since in order to slim down the iPhone 7 it was thought that the 3.5mm audio jack was being eliminated from the design.
However, Apple’s intentions in this area seem to have been subverted, since the images of the final design of the device published this week do indeed show that a headphone socket is present and correct, allaying the fears of compatibility issues that many had voiced in recent months.
Another aspect of the iPhone 7 which seems to have remained intact during development is the dual-lens camera. Earlier reports suggested that it had been technically problematic for Apple to integrate this high-end camera with the handset, but CNET confirms that this is indeed on the cards.
The final benefit to mention is the fact that a full 256GB of storage space should be made available with the top-tier iPhone 7 when it launches in the autumn. This will make it more capacious than any of its predecessors and will also overcome the lack of expandability that it offers.
Future iPhone developments have occasionally been reflected in the introduction of iPad parts ahead of launch, but it seems that the next generation of Apple’s most popular product will be its own beast.
After users experienced iPad software update problems, Apple has been forced to make the iOS 9.3.2 update unavailable for owners of the new 9.7 inch version of the iPad Pro. This came after a number of customers claimed that installing it resulted in their tablets being rendered inoperable, according to Slash Gear.
This is not the first time that issues have arisen after a software update has been issued by Apple. And compatibility issues can often arise, especially when the latest iOS iteration is ported to older iPhone and iPad devices.
What makes less sense in this instance is that the 9.7 inch iPad Pro was only announced a few months ago, making it unlikely that the conflict with iOS 9.3.2 has anything to do with the hardware being outdated.
The fact that Apple has chosen to respond to this at all is an indication that it is taking the matter seriously. This also means that those who have installed the update on their iPad Pro should be wary that it may stop responding and subsequently require professional attention to restore it to working order.
This should not require the installation of replacement iPad parts. It should be a matter of undoing the update and then waiting for Apple to release a patched version in the near future.
A statement from the manufacturer confirmed that it is looking into the causes of the bricking errors, and it will be working hard in order to amend them as soon as possible.
Users who have been impacted by this problem have been unable to restore an earlier version of iOS themselves and so in most cases have had to seek the help of either Apple’s official repair people or of third-party companies offering fault-fixing services and iPad parts.
Some observers have been critical of Apple’s ability to maintain the consistency and quality of its software updates, with arguments over the extent to which it should be held responsible for faults like this which slip through the cracks before launch and eventually have a negative impact on its customers.
Apple is in a problematic position at the moment, with iPhone sales slipping and the iPad range continuing to perform less favourably because of the tablet market being so saturated at the moment.
The iPad Pro has helped to boost its profile in the past year, with the arrival of the more compact 9.7 inch version giving customers even more reason to test out Apple’s first attempt at an enterprise-grade tablet which rivals the Microsoft Surface range.
While some people may feel that software issues are less serious than hardware faults, they can be just as problematic and in this instance can prevent a device from functioning on any level. This means repairing an iPad after a failed update should be treated just as seriously as having to replace the display after it is smashed.
Apple should at least be capable of applying a patch to the iPad Pro in a short space of time, but it may have dented customer confidence once again.
People who choose to repair their iPhone using products such as iScrews kits may realise that the components they replace derive their value in part as a result of the functionalities they facilitate when properly installed. But Apple has released figures which show the extent to which the innate value of the materials involved in the construction of iPhone parts is also worth considering.
The Register reports that in the latest Environmental Responsibility Report, Apple has outlined the precise amounts of precious metals and materials that it has managed to recover from iPhones, iPads and other devices which have been returned to it by customers.
In 2015 alone it recouped just under a tonne of gold, which is estimated to be worth just under £28 million. Meanwhile, closer to three tonnes of silver was reclaimed during the recycling process, along with almost 20 tonnes of lead.
The most common materials to be extracted as part of the recycling process were cobalt, weighing in at almost 86 tonnes, and plastic, which hit more than 600 tonnes.
Steel was the biggest contributor of all at over 1000 tonnes, which is unsurprising given that the chassis of all iPhone models produced in recent years have been fashioned from this metal. And Apple has been eager to point out that by recycling old iPhones, it has saved a lot of valuable resources from being merely dumped in landfill sites.
Some critics have also pointed out that one of the reasons that Apple is having to promote mobile recycling in this way at the moment is that the design of the iPhone and its other popular gadgets can be so locked down that most people are unwilling to attempt any kind of repair work if one of the components stops functioning.
In many instances, this means that people are effectively coerced into parting ways with their current smartphone or tablet earlier than they would otherwise have chosen to because it would be too complicated to fix at home. Meanwhile, Apple benefits because its new device sales rise as a result, while it gets to reclaim millions of pounds worth of precious materials which can be sold back into the manufacturing chain.
2016 is looking to be an interesting year for Apple, with slowing iPad sales coupled with predictions about a drop-off in demand for the iPhone, even in the wake of the announcement of the new SE model, meaning that it is not in such a strong position. But even so, it is still managing to sell an estimated 24 million mobiles a month, which in turn means that the number of old devices being discarded is significant.
For owners the most sustainable thing to do with an unwanted iPhone is to repair it using iScrews and make sure that it is in good working condition so that it can continue to be used, even if this means selling it to someone else who wants a cheap way to jump on the Apple bandwagon.