This is neat.
Sony’s own blog, SGNL, has done something pretty unique for a consumer electronics company. It embraced the teardown (sub req’d)! Engadget observes that while the video smacks of publicity, it’s unprecedented for a top-tier electronics maker to sanction an on-camera teardown of one of its products, with a prominent member of the DIY community no less. In this case, iFixit’s CEO, Kyle Wiens rolled up his sleeves and took Sony’s Bloggie 3D apart.
This is significant for a couple of reasons. First, it’s some good, consumer-friendly outreach that not only shows off the device’s advanced components and features, but also hints at its serviceability and how reparable the Bloggie 3D will be long after its warranty has expired. More importantly, by featuring Wiens, and by extension his iFixit website, Sony’s engaging a community — one that’s steeped in social media goodness — with the mediums they employ the most, namely blogs and online video.
Finally, Sony has lent some of its marketing muscle, by association at least, to a neat and geeky way to combat e-waste, one of iFixit’s priorities. It was iFixit that helped shed light on Apple’s use of “pentalobe screws” to stymie the efforts tinkerers and raising the specter of planned obsolescence.
Though I’m not naive enough to believe that the teardown went on without some conditions by Sony, it’s a bold move to even hint at the possibility that your Bloggie 3D may be with you for years to come, even after getting knocked around a couple of times, if you’re willing to put in the work to fix it.
Considering that Sony’s accountants would rather that you buy a new one if it breaks post-warranty, it’s significant that some of its marketers were empowered (given the autonomy?) to not only engage a community that encourages folks to get off the gadget-buying treadmill, but also expose its customers to the movement. Though it may not exactly mesh with its business goals of selling more gadgets, the Bloggie 3D teardown signals to tech-savvy consumers — the same ones that are constantly asked for tech buying advice by friends and family — that Sony (some of its divisions, anyway) values them and acknowledges at people extend and interact with their tech in ways that aren’t necessarily in line with what gadget makers have in mind.
Finally, a company that gets it.