The new Siri Remote comes with exciting new input options, like a jog wheel.
It’s a big improvement from its predecessor. But not easy to open up.
Photo: Apple

Most people haven’t gotten their hands on the 2021 Apple TV 4K yet. The good folks at iFixit have not only picked one up, but they’ve also stripped it down to peer inside.

A new teardown video suggests that the next-gen set-top box could be fairly straightforward to fix. However, don’t expect that same repair ease to apply to the upgraded Siri Remote.

The Apple TV is supposedly “super easy” to open up, requiring an outer casing panel to be popped off and the removal of a fix pins and screws to access the power supply. While you’re probably still better off getting your Apple TV fixed professionally if it breaks (especially if it’s within warranty), it’s nonetheless a pleasant surprise to find that Apple has released a product that could be repaired by users if they were so inclined.

That Siri Remote isn’t easy to open

That’s not the story for the Siri Remote, though. X-raying the remote shows a Swiss cheese logic board taking up the top half of the remote, under which is located the battery. That sounds fairly standard, but unscrewing the two pentalobe screws at the bottom of the remote seems to do a fat lot of nothing. It’s only when the team at iFixit started pulling off the front buttons do they manage to open up the remote and take out the battery and motherboard. In one of Apple’s favorite tricks, the battery is soldered to another component (in this case the Lightning port cables) which makes removing it problematic.

This doesn’t sound like it’s the most challenging Apple product in history to repair. But it’s certainly far from straightforward. Despite Apple’s green credentials, repairability has often not been its biggest strength. According to a recent report, Apple — and other tech giants — have strenuously argued against Right to Repair laws around the United States.

Are you planning to pick up the next-gen Apple TV 4K? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.