Design for repairability for cell phones

An article in Sustainable Brands ( describes a push by Sprint to produce environmental standards for design of cell phones, in partnerhsip with Underwriters Labs (UL). The goal is to develop modular designs so that only the specific broken part is replaced.  A phone by Samsung (Replenish) is the first such certified design. Is the incentive for repairable design for the supplier significantly different from the phone carrier ? If, in the limit, phone can be adpated to new network conditions, how will the supplier remain profitable ? Will modular designs encourage new parts suppliers who will drive down phone costs ?

About aviyer2010

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1 Response to Design for repairability for cell phones

  1. This is certainly a differentiator for Sprint/Samsung. I am struggling with finding a lot of pros to this besides customer satisfaction for a portion of the market. The cons are huge: sell less total phones, less service repairs (they profit from repairs), high cost to develop. Will this lower their overall costs? Probably not. Will more people buy their phones because of this feature than they lose because of the sustainability? Probably not. The best case scenario to me is developing an order qualifier for the industry that just raises everyone’s costs and lowers everyone’s revenues.

    How much more is it worth to charge for a product with a longer life? In automotive, cars are already so expensive we don’t want to buy them frequently, so longevity is an important quality characteristic. Phones are adapting new technology and are fairly inexpensive, so longevity is not as important of a quality characteristic.

    From the consumer side, yes, please do this!!!

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