The other day I was chatting virtually with a friend who, up until a couple of months ago, worked at one of the largest Apple stores in Europe.
We chewed the tech fat and put the world to rights for a couple of hours. I happened to mention how the other day I was contacted by a parent looking for advice because their child had enthusiastically stuffed the charging port of the family’s homeschooling iPad with what were believed to be baked beans.
“You know what,” they replied, “most of the repairs I saw were as a result of what could tactfully be called accidental damage.”
“iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, MacBooks, the lot. People find a way to break everything.”
I recalled someone else telling me once about a Mac Pro that rolled off a desk, tumbled across the floor and broke a window, almost going through it to the street below.
It’s was interesting to see how their experience mirrored my own. For almost the last decade, the emails and comments I get about broken tech — not just Apple stuff, but there are a lot of Apple users out there these days — fall into two categories: damage and battery issues.
And where those intersect — damage to batteries — things can get interesting.
I’ve also heard the same thing from warranty providers. You know, the folks who do things like dropping iPhones onto concrete to remind you that they can break. People are very creative when it comes to breaking things. I mean, haven’t we all come close to flushing our Apple Watch down the toilet or dropping an iPad into a BBQ?
Pets are also keen about getting in on the mayhem and destruction. Cats knocking stuff off desks and dogs chomping on smartphones and tablets (something which I’m sure isn’t good for the dogs concerned).
The flipside of this, though, are the things that people are worried about. While accidental damage should be at the top of the list, in my experience people are more worried about things like obsolescence, battery wear, theft, and malware.
Few people seem to worry that they’re going to drop their iPhone out of a hotel window taking photos or leave a tablet or laptop on the roof of a cab that speeds off into traffic.
Lately, I’ve been told quite a few tear-jerkers related to drones. They seem like a super quick and easy way to lose a thousand dollars.
While I don’t think any of these risks should be ignored, the fact is that the thing you should be worried about is you, the people around you, and your pets.