The Mighty iPhone, Defeated by Pocket Lint

Time will tell whether or not it's a repeat problem, but one tech editor found his out-of-warranty iPhone home button slowly failing to respond to the point where, rather than pay for repairs, he just bought a new phone. Depressed that he couldn't open the phone himself and still keep it in functional shape, he decided the circumstances (and his nerves) called for an autopsy, along with a monumental retelling of the event.

Only after I had dismantled the motherboard, separated the screen and delicately pealed free the "home" button's backplate from the adhesive that had affixed it to the machine's front glass could I see what had disabled my iPhone.

Lint.

...Now, however, with the iPhone's guts exposed to the world, a quick blast of compressed air cleared away the obstruction in a millisecond. The irony was inescapable—only when I had completely destroyed the iPhone could I fix it.

I don't know that it's a new phenomenon for gadgets to be unfixable, and it's certainly not an Apple-exclusive problem either (though their design certainly doesn't lend itself to easy user repair). But there is a certain, not so subtle irony that the better our tools work, the more our tools seem unable to fix one another. [PopMech]