On a crisp Ohio morning in late November, Michael Oberdick climbed into his car and settled in for a long ride. A very long ride. Over the next 12 days, Michael would cross 13 states and drive 2,000-plus miles through the American Midwest. But this wasn’t your typical road trip. Instead of stopping to see the sights, Michael stopped to see repair shops. His goal: meet as many people in the electronics repair community as possible.
Every year, we disassemble a lot of new phones at iFixit. In 2016, we took apart everything from the iPhone 7 to the (now recalled) Note7. After every teardown, we assign the phones a repairability score based on ease-of-disassembly. Check out how a few of this year’s more notable phones did on our teardown table.
It was just after midnight when the fire alarms at San Luis Obispo High School started going off. The school’s computer lab was engulfed in flames. Firefighters smothered the flames, but everything in the lab was destroyed. Amid the wreckage of melted computers and scorched chairs, a half dozen robots lie cremated. The robotics team had been working on them for months. All of it—up in smoke.
Let’s start off with what Apple’s Touch Bar-equipped 13″ MacBook Pro isn’t: it definitely isn’t a “touched up” version of the function key’d 13″ MBP we tore down last time. Nuh-uh. It’s an entirely different computer, with a totally different design; it probably has more in common with its 15″ big bro. That teardown is still to come.
Fans have waited forever for a MacBook Pro update. And Apple finally released two new MacBook Pros—one with the touted Touch Bar and one with traditional function keys. We got our mitts on the latter, which we’ve dubbed the “Escape Edition” because it still has an escape key. And we uncovered a few features that Phil didn’t mention.
Pumpkin is this season’s most popular device. That shockingly orange outer shell is pretty iconic. But, as always, we’re more concerned with what’s on the inside of Pumpkin than what’s on the outside. So, this Hallow’s Eve—we’ve done a special teardown: we pulled all of Pumpkin’s guts out on our teardown table.
Hoist your wrenches into the air, folks. As of today, October 28, you can now hack, repair, and conduct security research on your own car—or tractor!—without risking jail time for copyright infringement. Exactly one year ago, the Copyright Office granted exemptions for repairing, modifying, and conducting security research on your own vehicle. And those exemptions go into effect today.
Apple is about to ghost the iPhone 4. According to a report from Japanese site Mac Otakara—on October 31, Apple will likely place all models of the iPhone 4 on its list of vintage or obsolete devices. Of course, that’s also Halloween, which feels like a fitting day for Apple to banish the iPhone 4 into repair oblivion.
Google is steadily continuing down its path of world domination. And now they’re taking on the smartphone market—all by themselves this time! The Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones designed entirely by Google from the ground up. Despite trending toward an iPhone aesthetic (like most phones this year), the Pixel family is both reminiscent of and departs from previous Google designs. Check out the full teardown!
You’ve probably heard by now that Samsung’s Note7 has been recalled because it has a startling propensity to burst into flames. The Korean company quickly started exchanging the recalled phones for “safe” phones. Except the replacement phones started exploding, too. Yesterday, the electronics giant told owners of both recalled and replacement units to power off their phones and stop using them. Check out our CEO Kyle Wiens’s editorial on the fiasco on Wired.