Fixing your iPhone is a very dangerous task that’s clearly only fit for Apple itself, says Apple. So, don’t try and be a hero?
Back in July, Kyle Andeer, Apple’s Vice President of Corporate Law, stood before Congress to address questions about its repair policy and now, four months later, we have the receipts!! On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law released a copy of its Q&A with Andeer, Motherboard reports.
Regardless of how it may appear to the public, Apple denies that it’s in the business of creating a repairs monopoly. In fact, the company readily admits it currently makes no profit from its repair service. When it comes to repairs, Apple’s official line is that it’s just looking out for the safety of its customers.
Basically, the company argued that while iPhones are easy to use, they’re too complex and dangerous for the average person to fix. Ahhh, conscious capitalism.
“Repairs performed by untrained technicians might not follow proper safety and repair procedures, and could result in improper function, product quality issues, or safety events. Additionally, repairs that do not properly replace screws or cowlings might leave behind loose parts that could damage a component such as the battery, causing overheating, or resulting in injury.” Andeer explained.
It’s nice to think such a large company like Apple has our best interests in mind. It’s refreshing, almost. But, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. As Motherboard notes, if Apple truly wanted to protect you from injury by iPhone, then it wouldn’t make it so hard to access training and manuals for repairs.
As of August, the company now allows independent repair shops to receive training and access to Apple’s tools, parts, manuals, and any other components needed to fix iPhones. But that’s only after the business applies and receives the proper training for certification. Unfortunately, plain old iPhone owners aren’t eligible.
And, while Apple says there are “tens of thousands of Apple-authorized repair technicians working at Apple Retail Stores and third-party retailers,” it’s unclear how long the entire approval process takes or how many applications are in the queue.
Motherboard also points out a couple of repair grievances that are tough to ignore. Both of which occur when users attempt to take matters into their own hands.
There was that time where not one, but two iOS updates curiously broke the touch functionality on iPhones. Those displays were previously swapped out for new ones by either a third-party service or the owner themselves.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that your iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max can recognize if a replacement part isn’t verified. You’ll actually get a notification stating it’s “Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple display.” Not weird, at all. But, you can still use your phone as you normally would — the notification disappears after a certain number of days.
To be fair, Apple isn’t secretive about the fact that going anywhere outside of its certified repair shops will likely leave you with a broken iPhone. There’s even a support article that lists a bunch of issues that may arise if you don’t have the right display, including degraded multi-touch, unintentional battery drain, incorrect color display calibration, and well, need we go on? To sum it up, your $1,000+ iPhone might be deemed useless if you try and fix it yourself. Should’ve gone to the Apple Store!
Regardless, these independent shops aren’t trained to fix everything, either. For starters, certified stores can only technically fix iPhones that aren’t under warranty. There are also certain issues that only the Apple Repair Center can fix.
Surprise, surprise. Your iPhone might still somehow finds its way into Apple’s hands in the end. For uh, safety reasons, of course.