Whenever you hear of manufacturers recalling products – or stores taking things off their shelves to be fixed or improved – it’s almost always a problem with the product. Yesterday, we were informed that T-Mobile was immediately suspending all sales of the ZTE Zmax. We didn’t know why, but assumed there must have been something wrong with the budget phablet since – according to many sales staff – the thing sold like hot cakes. Of course, you all had your say in the comments section of the original article.
It turns out, the real issue was pretty unexpected: Customers. A number of T-Mobile customers – for whatever reason – allegedly tried to remove the non-removable battery. Because, apparently, it looks like you should be able to. Or it’s easy. Or something…
Sascha Segan pretty much nailed my thoughts in his headline on PCMag:
It was his sources who informed him of the real reason for the suspension.
“According to sources close to ZTE, T-Mobile had to suspend sales because customers were trying to remove the non-removable batteries on the phones. Obviously, that’s dangerous. The back cover is clipped on but not glued on, and people like this guy are using “a knife and a small screwdriver” to lever it off, potentially puncturing the battery cell and hurting themselves in the process.”
In short: Customer zealousness and passion for carrying out electronic repairs far outweighed their skill level or knowledge. Sort of reminds me of when I was a kid, trying to take my remote control car to pieces. It didn’t work again after I tried to detach the antenna. I was 9.
Allegedly, so many have tried that T-Mobile complained to ZTE and now the manufacturer is trying to figure a way of making battery removal less appealing. Needless to say, if you are experiencing issues with your ZMax, its performance or battery, please don’t try to take the battery out. Go to your local store to get it checked out.
It’s also worth noting, this isn’t the end of T-Mobile and ZTE’s relationship. The two want to work together, and if the fix can be found or manufactured there’s every chance the ZMax reappears. Without the “please remove me” back cover.