I recently wrote about Best Buy doing warranty repairs on Apple products. Apple continues to expand repair options to allow any approved company to do out-of-warranty repairs on iPhones. While I applaud Apple’s efforts to empower people to fix their own devices, I have significant concerns.
Apple Won’t Sell Directly to Individuals.
To get approved to buy official Apple parts, the applicant must be part of a company. Individuals cannot apply, and everyone has to pass a test.
It’s your computer though, you and others should have the rights to buy parts for it. Apple has been fighting Right to Repair in various states. Their argument is that tools, in the wrong hands, can be dangerous. You could pierce the battery and cause the iPhone to explode. Of course, the risk is reduced if you can buy genuine parts and read service manuals.
Apple Sets the Price
In a free market, you’re able to buy goods at various price points. With Apple’s controlled system, everyone buys items at the same price. Unless the program changes, no matter how much you buy, you’re paying the same price. Moreover, you’re not allowed to sell it to individuals to do their own repairs.
The price Apple will charge for those parts is roughly the same prices it charges individuals to do in-shop repairs. In other words, Apple is competing with independent repair shops to do the same type of repairs. They are setting pricing high enough on the parts so they can guarantee they are the cheapest in town. That’s just unfair.
Apple Restricts Independence of Independent Shops
When I first started full time with DoctorDave Computer Repair in 2003, I looked into becoming an official Apple Authorized Service Provider. The reason I didn’t was simple: I’d be working for Apple. Instead of doing what was in my client’s best interest, I’d have to do what my client wanted to keep my certification. That’s not right. Apple would restrict what products and services I could offer customers. That’s a big no-no in my book.
We’re Applying Anyway
In spite of all this, I’m still going to apply to have DoctorDave do iPhone repairs. It’s free, after all. I want to support this small step by Apple to empower people to repair their own devices.
I think of it as the first iPhone. You have to start somewhere!