Yes, perhaps the iPad would have to be slightly thicker if it were held shut with clips rather than glue. But how many people do you know who wouldn’t buy an iPad if it were two millimeters thicker? I’m sure you know many more people who have dropped a smartphone or tablet on the unforgiving concrete. And you probably know more people who have retired an iPod because the battery died right after the warranty expired. All these people have been infantilized out of a relationship with their hardware.
Apple’s trend towards removing user-serviceability from most of its products was disappointing to watch. I loved my wife’s white 17-inch iMac and my old Mac Pro—both were incredible examples of Apple’s ability to make machines that were beautiful both in- and outside, and almost fully serviceable. Remember the 15-inch PowerBook and how you could flip those two switches to pop off the keyboard and upgrade RAM? I lost count of how many Macs I single-handedly sold just by showing that feature to people at Starbucks.
Would the iPad (or iPhone, for that matter) sales take a large dive if Apple added 2mm of thickness to make them user-serviceable? I have a hard time buying that.
There’s a magic to Apple’s products, and I appreciate and admire it. But this isn’t the silver screen, and consumers need stuff to keep working—now, and years from now when we don’t feel like or can’t afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on Apple’s latest and greatest.