Repair your iPhone yourself. This is the dream sold by Apple to enlightened amateurs with its program Self-service repair launched in the US for iPhone 12 and 13. Sean Hollister, journalist at The edge, struck out and asked for the famous repair kit to replace the battery on his iPhone mini. But it was a real obstacle course he endured.
A security deposit of $ 1200
If the battery only costs $ 69 and the rental of the tools $ 49, you will have to pay an astronomical deposit of $ 1200 to access the set, knowing that you should not store it for more than a week. You must also enter the IMEI number of your phone to prove that you are the owner. And after reading the repair manual, which specifies that you must have a bucket full of sand with you in case the battery should catch fire. What to hesitate to start.
Delivery of the set to Sean Hollister arrived two days late as the countdown had already begun. It started badly. But above all, he did not look at all like what the journalist had imagined. He expected to receive screwdrivers and pliers in a small box. Instead, two giant 36-pound Pelican boxes were delivered to his door.
Sean Hollister took courage and dragged it all to his San Francisco office by train. After unpacking the contents, he discovered professional equipment. Something that inspires confidence when he had to perform a repair with Apple spare parts and Apple tools.
The opening of the smartphone is supposed to be done simply by heating the seal around the screen to melt it. Except that this requires doing it several times and that the journalist experienced a lot of cold sweats when he thought he was about to destroy his unit. Problems not mentioned in the Apple documentation.
Some tools have proven to be extremely sophisticated, but never practical enough for sometimes unnecessarily complicated manipulations. “Apple needs three different screwdriver bits just to remove the screen, and none of the bits are magnetized to prevent the screws from slipping out.”says Sean Hollister.
Get the parts remotely validated
Same observation then to insert a new battery. The journalist had a magnificent press, but nothing to place the drums correctly. He failed to close the phone perfectly. And most importantly, when he tried to turn on the iPhone, nothing happened. The battery actually needed to be recharged. If it had gone wrong, he would not have known. Eventually, he was able to open the device but not make it work because the iPhone did not recognize the new battery.
And there was still one last step: Call Apple’s third-party logistics company so they could validate the part. It is a process that involves restarting your iPhone in diagnostic mode and giving it remote control. And therefore partly restores the interest in doing everything yourself.
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For the journalist The edge, the whole thing is just a play. Apple gives the impression that it supports the right of repair, but it makes it almost impossible. How can you imagine the American giant seriously in a single second considering sending these giant suitcases across the country? It would cost him a fortune, not at all in relation to the rental price of $ 49. But he will be able to confirm to the legislators that he left the choice to people to repair their units themselves and that they preferred to turn to the services of his or authorized repairers.
Remember that Apple was fighting in twenty US states for the right to repair so as not to have to market spare parts directly to the users. The announcement of its Self Service Repair program surprised everyone in late 2011. But many observers immediately pointed out its limitations and the fact that few people would eventually be affected by this offer.
Source: The Verge