Apple, a company notorious for making its products difficult to repair, has given us a real headbutt from a repair situation with its next-generation streaming remote.
These are a few screws that seem to make repair seem semi-straight, but definitely not. iFixit has been aborted the second-generation Siri Remote, which comes with the latest Apple TV 4K streaming box, and found that these two screws on the outside of the remote actually don’t do anything. In other words, don’t expect to be able to fix your new remote or battery easily.
First off, Apple’s new wand has a one-piece aluminum body – which means that while minimal and beautiful, this thing would probably already prove difficult to tinker with. You might therefore think that a few small screws on the bottom of the remote near the charging port would provide easy access to the thing that probably needs repair on this remote: the battery. You would be wrong.
Instead, iFixit’s video disassembly indicated that the little picture covering the Lightning port – another Siri Remote sin, if I’m honest – actually isn’t going anywhere. To get into the remote, iFixit had to use a handful of specialized tools to loosen the buttons on the remote, remove more small screws and small parts, pry the inner frame of the remote from the aluminum case, remove the remote control circuit board to unscrew. the skeleton of the remote control and finally you take out the 1.52Wh battery. Oh, and the cables are soldered together with those from the Lightning port, making DIY repairs all the more difficult.
Is the lack of easy repairability on the next generation Siri Remote surprising? Well, no. Of course not. Fixing the first-generation Siri wand was similarly one whole whole thing. Apple is also notorious for it lobby against right to repair, has been found to be internally contrary to its own position on the matter and has used it arguments in bad faith to protect itself from criticism about how difficult it is to repair its products, especially when it comes to proprietary components and repair instructions.
But for a remote with a rechargeable battery, Apple certainly makes it difficult to get in there and access any of the things that will likely need to be replaced along the way. And cheating on us with a few screws that don’t do much to repairability isn’t exactly good for the repair front either.