Fixing an iPhone at home the proper way: Apple's massive 36KG repair station!

Retro

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This The Verge journalist just wanted to replace his iPhone Mini's battery using the official Apple parts and tools, so Apple sent him a massive repair station to do the job!

Apple must be joking.

That’s how I felt again and again as I jumped through hoop after ridiculous hoop to replace the battery in my iPhone Mini. Part of that was the repair process — mostly, it was how difficult Apple makes it to even get there.

I expected Apple would send me a small box of screwdrivers, spudgers, and pliers; I own a mini iPhone, after all. Instead, I found two giant Pelican cases — 79 pounds of tools — on my front porch. I couldn’t believe just how big and heavy they were considering Apple’s paying to ship them both ways.

It arrived in two massive carry cases:
Bagged up.jpg
Nice train station by the way.

This is what it's like all decked out:
iPhone repair station.jpg

Full article of this journalist's misadventures and hi-res pictures of everything at the link below. He really didn't like it...

 

Tiffany

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O.M.G. o_O I read the article after seeing the pictures!!:ROFLMAO: I'm sure this journalist didn't look suspicious at all on the San Fransisco train station either. o_O
 

Retro

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lol I can imagine what other passengers must have thought of those two giant suitcases.

This article is linked to in the main article, but I think it's worth posting it here due to the extremely invasive contract that Apple makes repair shops sign:

Vice obtained a copy of the contract, and the terms sound extremely invasive. Apple can apparently do unannounced audits and inspections of a repair shop at any time to make sure it isn’t using knockoff repair parts, for example. And if Apple finds that a shop used knockoff parts in more than two percent of its transactions, it might have to pay a lot of money — the contract says Apple can fine that shop $1,000 for each transaction that happened during that audit, period. The shop would also have to reimburse Apple for its investigation.

And if a repair shop ever leaves the program, the contract also reportedly lets Apple make inspections for up to five years after that shop leaves the program. Repair shops are also supposedly required to give Apple customer information such as names, phone numbers, and home addresses whenever Apple asks.

Wow! I'd think twice before signing that. I really don't like that 5 year overhang and the handing over of customer details, especially.

 

Arantor

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I get why this is so, though. Apple has two distinct lines of vested interest for people to use genuine parts. Obviously, they want people to use genuine parts because they can charge for them. But Apple's secondary goal here is brand management, and that's the more complicated part.

Apple has built its current reputation on devices that are luxury/lifestyle/aspirational, rather than workhorse or general use devices. People don't go iPhone because it'll do the job, they go iPhone because it carries a reputation of 'just works' and that it's a 'good brand to have'. Part of that is the instilled belief that you need the proper parts if you want it to continue being 'just working'.

But it's also a little more tricky when you factor in that phones now are physically assembled differently compared to even a few years ago; the screens are glued on in ways to make them waterproof and some of the shielding they have.

The other reality is that you don't *need* to use the Apple-approved tools. Adequate replacements that are 'good enough' are available very cheaply on eBay. If you don't care about having the perfect vendor-fresh finish, you don't have to use the vendor tools.

This, on the other hand, is a brand management deal. Apple has never made it easy to use Apple's tools, but here you can get the tools - the official vendor authorised tools - for relative cheap (even if you have to pay a holding deposit on the 36kg worth of tools).

As for indie shops, this is just an extension of the same thing; if you want to be an Apple approved retailer, you have to play by Apple's approval game. The amount of details that Apple is supposedly demanding actually sounds to me like more of a 'you better not leave the program' racket rather than something they'd otherwise want to do.
 
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