Apple Making Nice with Repair Shops, Galaxy Note10+ Teardown, and Lots of Hair Spray — Repair Radio Episode 12

On this episode of Repair Radio, we discussed Apple’s expansion into the independent repair market and why that’s still not good enough. We also talked about our Samsung Galaxy Note10+ teardown and answered some of your questions about the device.

How to Listen

Hosts: Craig Lloyd, Kevin Purdy, and Whitson Gordon
Special Guest: Taylor Dixon
Music: Gypsy (@ArchaicsHipHop)

News Topics

  • Apple Now Offers Genuine Parts and Tools to Independent Repair Shops, But We Have Questions: Apple announced today that it will offer genuine parts, diagnostic tools, and repair manuals to independent repair shops. It’s a bold move from a company that has lobbied against Right to Repair bills, and a concession to the reality of iPhone owners’ needs. But we still have questions.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G Teardown: Samsung just penned the death of the headphone jack with its newest phablet, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Galaxy Note10+ 5G. What else lies within that monolithic slab? In this teardown adventure, we breach its water-resistant seals, dredge its depths in search of elusive 5G chips, and encounter some surprising hardware along the way.

Listener Questions

Since we brought on a special guest to talk about our Galaxy Note10+ teardown, we decided it would be a good time to answer some questions specifically about the device.

Presley Yong asked, “Is the battery easy to replace?”

There’s not very many steps involved, but removing the back cover is difficult enough that we’d say replacing the battery isn’t necessarily easy. Plus, the battery is glued down and there aren’t any accessible pull tabs to easily remove the adhesive. Instead, it takes some heat and a lot of isopropyl alcohol to dissolve the adhesive.

Armand Sarkani asked, “How’s the repairability compared to the iPhone?”

If you’re just concerned about getting into the phone and replacing a part, then the iPhone is more repairable by a substantial amount. However, since many replacement parts in iPhones won’t 100% function properly (losing TruTone when replacing the display, for instance), that marks down the “repairability” somewhat.

Nathaniel Lopez asked, “Is the technology improving or not?”

Recently, new smartphones are seeing only minor improvements. Compared to a phone from a few years back, sure, the technology is definitely improved. But comparing only last year’s model, there are minor differences that aren’t worth the extra cost.

Luis Silva asked, “What specifically are the sensors that make up the on-screen fingerprint reader?”

The on-screen fingerprint reader on the Note10 is an ultrasonic sensor made by Qualcomm, just like the one on the Galaxy S10. However, we’re not sure if the Note10 and the S10 are using the exact same sensor, but more than likely they are.

Have a Question You Want Answered on Repair Radio?

You can email your repair questions to repairradio@ifixit.com, or tag us on Twitter and include the hashtag #RepairRadio in your tweet. Your question can be anything repair-related, whether it’s how to fix something, tools you should buy, maintenance advice, or anything in between. We’ll pick some of our favorite questions and answer them on the podcast! And if you have general feedback about the podcast, we’d love to hear that as well!

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