Why should I care?
Technical products are among our most expensive household purchases and their prices are rising. Not too long ago, a high-end smartphone was priced at $ 650. Today, the new Apple and Samsung phones start at $ 700 and $ 800.
A study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that if products were repaired instead of replaced, the average family could save 330 per year.
By prolonging the life of your gadgets, you can make more use of the energy, metals, plastics and human labor invested in making the product.
Why don’t more people repair their technology?
There are several hurdles to repairing consumer electronics that can make it daunting.
Initial repairs are not as easy as replacing a scattered screen or a depleted battery Not modern gadgets are so thin and tightly glued together that they usually require special tools to open them. It’s also not straightforward to buy the genuine part – for example, you can’t go to the Apple or Samsung website to order a replacement screen or battery.
Fixing basic components is becoming increasingly irrational with unauthorized repair shops, especially Apple phones. Proprietary software tools are needed to complete many important parts of the new iPhone, including cameras, batteries and screens, independent fixers said.
An easy option is to go to Apple and Microsoft retail stores and approved repair shops, but the costs there can be so high that you can simply be persuaded to buy a new device. When I took my wife’s iPhone to an Apple store this year, my broken touch-screen was quoted at 280 for replacement, about 40 percent of the price of a brand new iPhone. Instead I took another route.
Why unauthorized fixers should not be allowed?
Individual fixtures have access to equipment, parts and instructions for repairs in order for technology companies to become authorized service centers. But Kyle Vince, chief executive of Ifixit, which publishes a free manual for people to recover their gadgets, said many independent fixers were shut down by contractual terms for approval.
A requirement to be an approved Apple repair center involves collecting detailed service records, including customer names, product serial numbers, and mailing addresses. Apple will need to provide this information at monitoring events to verify that repairs are being carried out properly. Even if a supplier terminates its contract with Apple, it must agree to continue this information with the company for two years.
There is also the issue of price. Shakil Tayeb, an independent fixer in South San Francisco, said he charged customers a lower price because he received a fair share of channels from electronic modifiers that extract functional components from faulty gadgets. (He charged me 180 180 for fixing my wife’s iPhone screen, outcutting the Apple Store for 100 100.)
Mr Tayyab said he would follow the rules if he became an approved provider, which could lead to price increases for his customers – something he said he did not want to do.