Why iFixit and Louis Rossmann are divided on do-it-yourself Apple repairs

On Wednesday November 17, 2021, Apple took everyone by surprise by announcing the Self Service Repair program. Concretely, the firm will allow from 2022 to buy spare parts to carry out routine repairs yourself, such as changing the screen or replacing the battery, at home, without having to entrust the device to the official after-sales service. or to an authorized repairer.

However, the firm has long been one of the fiercest opponents of the right to repair. Lately the firm has even gone even further in locking its products against repairs by integrating a chip on spare parts of the iPhone 13 such as the screen. In case of unauthorized replacement, FaceID stops working. This limitation will however be removed in iOS 15.2.

iFixit: Apple Finally Admits You’re Smart Enough to Fix Your iPhone Yourself

iFixit was quick to respond to Apple’s new repair program. In an article titled “Everyone is a genius: Apple will offer parts and tools for do-it-yourself repairs”, the site explains: “Apple’s historic repair announcement is a remarkable concession to our collective capabilities. Apple has long claimed that letting customers repair their own items would be dangerous, both for us and for our items ”.

And iFixit to continue: “But with the government’s renewed interest in the repair market – and not long after the notorious bad press from parts pairing – Apple unexpectedly decided to let people fix the things they own. […] this is a major piece of information for everyone, but we are especially excited at iFixit ”.

However, the firm quickly noticed problems: “We are staying away from the revolution around open source repairs that we called for in our fight for the right to repair. Apple is tracing these Self Service Repairs on the program for independent repairers, which is known to be particularly restrictive ”. iFixit is particularly concerned that Apple will force its customers even more to buy spare parts only from the firm, with even more locking and serialization.

Louis Rossmann thinks Apple’s new repair program is a smokescreen

Louis Rossmann, a repairman who has become a real star on YouTube, is meanwhile much more pessimistic about Apple’s new program. The latter carries out repairs that Apple’s after-sales service and authorized repairers refuse to do. In this case, if your Mac is no longer charging, the problem is probably with the charging port and a chip that needs to be replaced. At Apple and in the network of authorized repairers, the customer is systematically informed in this case that the entire motherboard must be changed.

While changing the charging port is relatively trivial and inexpensive, changing the motherboard can cost over $ 800 outside of warranty. There is therefore a real interest in allowing repairers to carry out this type of small repair, if only for the sake of sustainability and eco-responsibility. Louis Rossmann notes that Apple will a priori only supply complete parts, and in no case real spare parts. He also notes that the current program for third-party repairers does not change.

However, by allowing customers to change the battery and screen of their iPhone, Apple in fact removes a large part of the resources of small repairers: 90% of repairs are a change of screen or battery. Suddenly its conclusion is final: Apple in fact announces a smoke screen that only aims to convince the US Congress that the company is in the direction of the right to repair.

While in reality Apple is strengthening its monopoly on its own repairs, dictating what repairers can de facto repair, and draining the resources of most repairers. Apple’s strategy around repairs leads to waste by supplying only complete parts rather than components that would allow some repairers to make small repairs.

Read also – Apple avoids unnecessary controversy by facilitating iPhone 13 repairs

Louis Rossmann explains that he still has to largely procure certain spare parts and components illegally, despite Apple’s programs of which he is currently part. If checked, it may be completely excluded from Apple spare parts manuals and supplies. What do you think of this new repair program? Is this going in the right direction, or do you think, on the contrary, that Apple is playing its part finely to lock in repairs even more? Share your opinion in the comments!


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