Opinion Articles

Friday, December 17, 2010

The teardown: engineering or entertainment?

Mark Bridge writes:

A few months ago I wrote about the so-called geek porn of unboxing. Unboxing, in case you’re unaware, refers to photos and video clips showing brand new mobile phones being removed from their packaging and switched on.

However, I’ve recently been reminded there is another similar type of geek porn. It’s darker than unboxing. More destructive. More intimate. It’s the teardown.

Now, a teardown – pronounced tare, not tier – isn’t a term from American Football. It’s another word for dismantling. However, instead of just ending up with a box of bits, you’re presented with an inventory that reveals all kinds of information about components and manufacturing processes.

The latest product to be subjected to a teardown is the Google Nexus S (or the Samsung GT-i9020, if you believe what’s written inside the phone). Online repair community iFixit has strapped on its anti-static wrist band and whipped out the motherboard.

I can’t pretend I’m not slightly interested by the results – but they don’t teach me anything that would affect my buying decision.

Which, I think, reveals the truth of the teardown. For most of us, it falls somewhere between the mystery of reverse engineering and the spectacle of Will it blend?

And that’s got me thinking. We’ve already been introduced to live teardowns. But maybe the speed teardown could be the next phenomenon for the wannabe geek. Two people, each with nothing but a Phillips size 00 screwdriver, pitted against each other. And then speed reassembly afterwards.

iFixit Google Nexus S teardown

Author: The Fonecast
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Categories: Handsets and manufacturers, OpinionNumber of views: 5548

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