Apple's Self Service Repair answers critics, doesn't help users

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  • Reply 21 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Here we go again. Of the nearly one billion Apple device users only a tiny, almost insignificant number of them will be trying to fix their devices. I and most others will continue to have our devices serviced by Apple. A tiny but vocal minority of DIY’ers screamed bloody murder and threw a tantrum over the so-called right to repair. Tech blogs like AI inflated the numbers of them and their influence. Apple threw them a bone here to shut them up. I would even bet that 50% of the posts about this were from users who themselves will never attempt to repair their device.

    I can almost guarantee that when this program starts we will be treated to articles on Apple tech blogs about the travails of poor users who blew up their iPhones. 
    edited November 2021 williamlondon
  • Reply 22 of 35
    Huge effort and money on their part to shut up a vocal tiny % of users driven more by hatred of big tech than any real desire to fix their iPhone 13.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 23 of 35
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,940member
    loopless said:
    Huge effort and money on their part to shut up a vocal tiny % of users driven more by hatred of big tech than any real desire to fix their iPhone 13.
    Of course, this is less about 'answering critics' and more about preemptively answering lawyers and legislators. If Apple nominally supports users who wish to repair their own devices, they can hopefully head off lawsuits or new laws that would force poorly thought out requirements on device design.

    This is one of those issues where goldfish seemingly have longer memories than people do.

    Before the iPhone, most cell phones had removable batteries. This meant that 1) there was a whole industry of cheap, third-party cellphone batteries, and 2) people would  buy several of them, so that when their phone battery was getting low, they'd swap it out for a fresh one, rather than expecting a battery to last all day. This meant phone manufacturers had no control over the quality of the batteries people were using, the devices were made with shells and compartments that opened up to accommodate the batteries, so devices were not waterproof, dropping a device was almost guaranteed to pop the back off and the battery out (shutting the device off), people had lots of batteries laying around and more chucked in the trash or out the car window, etc., etc., etc.

    It was momentarily scandalous when first introduced that iPhones did not have user-swappable batteries. Contrary to those criticisms, this has been better for the customer and better for the environment. The included battery is high-quality, safe and viable for several years, and for many, for the entire useful life of the device. With Apple's recycling program, it means a lot of those batteries (and iPhones) go back to Apple for deconstruction and recycling, rather than being tossed out into the environment. It means a given device will only ever have one or two batteries ever created for it. It probably means a lot fewer people dealing with exploding, burning cheap lithium ion batteries. It probably even means a lot less lithium has had to be mined to keep up with a supply of four or five batteries per smartphone sold. It means Apple (and all the others who followed suit) now make devices that last all day on a single charge, that keep right on working when you drop them, and that now even keep right on working when you drop them or take them with you into water.

    People can't remember the time so long ago before iPhones, and don't consider what we already know from actual experience is the result of user-swappable batteries. So with great umbrage, they cry foul that they can't even change out their own iPhone batteries, and insist it's a cynical conspiracy to charge users more money. Hopefully Apple's new self-repair program will save us from a return to the good old days.
    williamlondonDetnatorFidonet127
  • Reply 24 of 35
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,882member
    "So alongside whatever the cost of the component is, users will have to buy Apple tools and it's not yet clear if one tool purchase will cover future repairs even for the same part."

    You have no knowledge at all about what the program will be like and yet you choose to speculate and, in total Facebook mode, highlight the scenario that would trigger the most outrage.

    Who has ever heard of a company forcing you to buy an item that you don't want to buy?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they don't need or want?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they already have?

    What a stupid, sensationalist, and irresponsible article.  Is this why the writer didn't want to put his or her name on the byline?
  • Reply 25 of 35
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    tundraboy said:
    Who has ever heard of a company forcing you to buy an item that you don't want to buy?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they don't need or want?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they already have?
    Lots of things you buy come with tooling as part of the package, and it’s not an option to not include the tool. E.g. Self assembly furniture often comes with spanners and hex keys appropriate for the nuts and bolts.
  • Reply 26 of 35
    The days of old of me getting out the soldering iron to replace a transistor standing out from a circuit board passed away in the 80s. There are no user repairable circuit boards being made today. One never hears or replacing an individual component anymore. You get the complete circuit board. How many homes have a true "clean" room? 

    Note that Apple will not be selling discounted parts so the mother boards in an iPhone could be sold at nearly the cost of new iPhone. Had a compressor die in an A/C unit. Had to buy a complete new new compressor for over $1,500 plus labor. Back in the day I could have soldered the new in place, but at 76, I do not bend in ways necessary to work on that equipment any more.

    One can not buy the parts to repair an alternator, just a rebuilt or new one.
  • Reply 27 of 35
    loopless said:
    Huge effort and money on their part to shut up a vocal tiny % of users driven more by hatred of big tech than any real desire to fix their iPhone 13.
    … most of whom will find everything wrong they can with this and won’t shut up anyway. Or at best will have nothing useful to say about this and will quickly find something else “wrong” with Apple to hate on and complain about. 

    Honestly, I applaud their (Apple’s) cunning in this. Perhaps this is little more than a publicity stunt and in practice it might not be worth anyone’s while to make use of it. But if it checks the box of “ok here ya go, now you can destroy… ahem, repair your stuff on your own” and gets the complainers and “lawmakers” off their backs so they can get back on with making world changing products and services  then... Nicely done. 

  • Reply 28 of 35
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,263member
    Improving the repairability of Apple devices should have a benefit that nobody is talking about. Improved repairability has the potential to make it easier/faster/cheaper for Apple to repair devices that are brought into Apple for repair. Designing a product with the notion that an “average” electronics repair technician can repair and/or replace a component in the device without the need for exotic tools or robotics should at least in-theory result in a design that accommodates easier repair - and more repair parts being made available and configured for post manufacturing/assembly replacement. 

    If this is the case we should expect to see the costs and turn-around times for repairs performed by Apple either reduced or at least held steady. We’ve all seen that the repair costs for some Apple components have steadily increased as the parts and repair/replacement processes became more exotic. Improved repairability should alleviate some of these trends. But as with any engineered product, there are bound to be some trade offs such as increased device size/volume, higher manufacturing costs, longer product design refresh cycles, and higher product acquisition costs. 
    muthuk_vanalingamcrowley
  • Reply 29 of 35
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,882member
    crowley said:
    tundraboy said:
    Who has ever heard of a company forcing you to buy an item that you don't want to buy?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they don't need or want?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they already have?
    Lots of things you buy come with tooling as part of the package, and it’s not an option to not include the tool. E.g. Self assembly furniture often comes with spanners and hex keys appropriate for the nuts and bolts.
    Yeah, I expected somebody would exit the zone of common sense and raise that just for the sake of argument, even though the throwaway tools that IKEA et al bundles with their disposable furniture is not anywhere as expensive (either on an absolute or proportional basis) as what the article implies about the special repair tools that Apple will offer.  Aside from the insignificant cost of a hex key, the other factor is that no customer has ever filed a formal complaint about the practice of bundling the cheap tools.

    I guarantee you if any company says when you buy our $200 repair part, you are required to buy this $100 tool no exceptions, the feds will be on that company's case the moment a consumer complains about it.  And don't doubt that a consumer, backed by a law firm seeking fees from a class-action settlement, is going to come forward.
    edited November 2021 williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 30 of 35
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,882member
    dewme said:
    Improving the repairability of Apple devices should have a benefit that nobody is talking about. Improved repairability has the potential to make it easier/faster/cheaper for Apple to repair devices that are brought into Apple for repair. Designing a product with the notion that an “average” electronics repair technician can repair and/or replace a component in the device without the need for exotic tools or robotics should at least in-theory result in a design that accommodates easier repair - and more repair parts being made available and configured for post manufacturing/assembly replacement. 

    If this is the case we should expect to see the costs and turn-around times for repairs performed by Apple either reduced or at least held steady. We’ve all seen that the repair costs for some Apple components have steadily increased as the parts and repair/replacement processes became more exotic. Improved repairability should alleviate some of these trends. But as with any engineered product, there are bound to be some trade offs such as increased device size/volume, higher manufacturing costs, longer product design refresh cycles, and higher product acquisition costs. 
    The problem with improving repairability is that it runs completely counter to the aim of packing as much computing power and capabilities at the lowest possible manufacturing cost without increasing the size of the device.  Guess which features the overwhelming majority of customers care about, repairability or cost and capabilities?
    edited November 2021
  • Reply 31 of 35
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    tundraboy said:
    crowley said:
    tundraboy said:
    Who has ever heard of a company forcing you to buy an item that you don't want to buy?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they don't need or want?  Who has ever heard of any instance where the US allows a company to force a person to buy something that they already have?
    Lots of things you buy come with tooling as part of the package, and it’s not an option to not include the tool. E.g. Self assembly furniture often comes with spanners and hex keys appropriate for the nuts and bolts.
    Yeah, I expected somebody would exit the zone of common sense and raise that just for the sake of argument, even though the throwaway tools that IKEA et al bundles with their disposable furniture is not anywhere as expensive (either on an absolute or proportional basis) as what the article implies about the special repair tools that Apple will offer.  Aside from the insignificant cost of a hex key, the other factor is that no customer has ever filed a formal complaint about the practice of bundling the cheap tools.

    I guarantee you if any company says when you buy our $200 repair part, you are required to buy this $100 tool no exceptions, the feds will be on that company's case the moment a consumer complains about it.  And don't doubt that a consumer, backed by a law firm seeking fees from a class-action settlement, is going to come forward.
    You made no mention of cost or quality in your original assertion.

    And they probably won't say that anything about requirement, they'll say it's a $300 repair kit, including part and tool.  And it's very unlikely it'll be $100 for the tool anyway, so you're constructing a rather absurd example.  We'll have to wait and see what the tooling comprises.
    dewme
  • Reply 32 of 35
    No one is forced to buy an Apple product. If one does not like the repair costs, buy a throw away Android. The bottom cheap Android models function as cell phones, the basic purpose of the device. 

    Anyone heard complaints about the costs to get their Leica camera repaired? Repairs best done by Leica.

    As the electronics have gotten more complex, the home soldering iron is a dust collector in a box as the average person lacks access to a wave soldering machine.....


    edited November 2021
  • Reply 33 of 35
    This glass-half-empty, cynical editorial about Apple's solution to "right to repair" is just moving the whining goalposts from "can't" to "cost"
    Detnatorcharlesnwilliamlondon
  • Reply 34 of 35
    Hilarious. The “right to repair” crowd finally gets what they want and the complaint immediately shifts to, “Apple isn’t doing it for the right reasons.” This will end up as the ultimate “dog that caught the car” story, when amateurs start taking apart machine-assembled devices manufactured to insanely tight tolerances and held together with glue and incredibly fragile wiring and connectors. Ironically, Apple may end up with a sales boost of new devices thanks to all the ones that will be damaged beyond repair thanks to right to repair. 
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