Fixing the new Apple TV remote is harder than simply unscrewing it? Okay, this is just plain obnoxious.
With its next-generation streaming remote, Apple, a firm known for making its products tough to fix, has given us a true head-scratcher of a repair problem.
The problem here is a couple of screws that look to make repair semi-simple but, in fact, do not. iFixit dismantled the second-generation Siri Remote, which will be included with Apple's new Apple TV 4K streaming box, and discovered that the two screws on the remotes' outside do nothing. In other words, don't expect to be able to repair your new remote or its batteries easily.
To begin with, Apple's new wand has a one-piece aluminum outer shell design, which means that while it's basic and attractive, it's already going to be difficult to meddle with. You might imagine that a pair of tiny screws near the charging port on the bottom of the remote would provide easy access to the component most likely to need repair: the battery. You'd be mistaken.
Instead, according to iFixit's video deconstruction, the little plate that covers the Siri Remote's Lightning port — another Siri Remote sin, if I'm honest - practically does nothing.
To get inside the remote, iFixit had to pop off the buttons, remove more tiny screws and component pieces, wriggle the remote's inner frame out of its aluminum shell, unscrew the logic board from the remote's skeleton, and ultimately take out the 1.52Wh battery with a handful of specialist tools. Oh, and the Lightning port's cables are soldered together, making DIY repairs all the more difficult.
Is it unexpected that the next-generation Siri Remote lacks simple repairability? No, no, and no. Obviously not. Similarly, repairing the first-generation Siri wand was a huge undertaking.
Apple is also known for lobbying against right-to-repair legislation, being internally conflicted about its own position on the issue, and using bad-faith arguments to avoid criticism about how difficult its products are to repair, particularly when it comes to proprietary component parts and repair instructions.
However, for a remote with a rechargeable battery, Apple makes it extremely difficult to get inside and access one of the items most likely to require replacement in the future. And deceiving us with a pair of screws that aren't really repairable doesn't exactly win us points in the repair department.