I think it is an interesting discussion, but nothing for anyone to get bent out of shape about.
Besides, it came with a disclaimer:
Raion-Fox wrote:I've been wanting to make a rant about Apple for awhile now. I'm going to cover many topics quickly in succession and it will come off ranting.
But, what is the engineering justification for soldering memory and hard drives onboard, or gluing in batteries? I can see it going either way based on the product, with a "design for manufacturing"
For example if you are making a phone or tablet, a slim single board design with expandability concerns being in the <1% edge case, it absolutely makes sense to solder the RAM directly on the board. It removes a manufacturing step, removes a point of failure (increasing reliability), and allows for a smaller overall physical profile.
If you were designing a device for a high vibration environment, I could see using glue or silastic on a battery to keep it from abrading against other surfaces. You might even pot the entire thing in epoxy. Although I think we all know that this would be a joke as far as the iPhone is concerned, so I am not seriously suggesting that is the design reason for it.
Phones are generally sold in one or two configurations and have no expectation of being physically fixed or extended. Like it or not, they also, practically speaking, have a limited lifespan and are designed as such. Computers on the other hand come in many different configurations, have a longstanding tradition of being upgradeable, and whatever the manufacturer's wishes, tend to have a long service life.
I can see things like a chromebook (or Macbook Air) reasonably being designed as a single board, with on-board flash storage, CPU, and memory. These devices are closer (e.g. in number of available configurations) to a tablet or phone. I think you could make the case either way for something like a Mac Mini. But an iMac or Macbook Pro? It doesn't make any sense. If you consider just the pure number of combinations of RAM and hard drive a user can select, soldering these elements in place makes no sense from a manufacturability standpoint, with the assembly line for each product having to be forked off that many times. At that point it becomes a significant extra cost, not a cost savings. It also means a cost increase (at least in the hard drive case) from foregoing off-the-shelf components. It only makes sense to me if you consider the other motives for such a change.
I'm not afraid to get "into the modern era" in terms of tools and techniques for repairing things. Coincidentally (for reasons completely unrelated to PC repair) my next major purchase is a top-shelf Ersa Vario 4 SMD rework station
, so I am not exactly afraid to desolder things. But if the position is that it isn't an attempt at planned obsolescence, what is the engineering justification for the changes?
In any case I sort of miss my iBook G4, except for the power adapter that caught on fire (because the form over function people apparently thought proper strain relief was unsightly)...