The right to repair can be a prize for unauthorized service

On Wednesday, Apple announced that after many years of resistance, it will allow enthusiasts to unconditionally buy spare parts and repair damaged equipment. The novelty will be introduced to the American market next year and will gradually expand further. First, it will be possible to purchase components for iPhones 12 and 13 and Macs with an M1 chip.

Although the iPhone manufacturer allows enthusiastic applists to intervene in its devices, it still retains sufficient control over the entire process. He did not allow the use of unauthorized components, which are much cheaper, but often also of lower quality. If they are used, there is still a risk of significant degradation of the device, but mainly the elimination of some functions.

This effectively opens up another line of business for Apple without losing control of its products. The company expects to issue a detailed manual, which the repairman should follow. Even so, the change is likely to affect only a few percent of users.

“In order for the device to work fully, special tools, an electrostatic environment and original parts are required,” explains Petr Rozkošný from an authorized iWant dealer.

Adorable, therefore, does not consider Apple’s move a revolutionary change. “The slightest damage from the repairer can cause some of the functionality to be lost,” he says.

“It will be a fundamental change,” says Filip Průša, service manager at Fixed. Apple’s decision could allow intervention without the assistance of authorized services, such as replacing the display or cameras.

Adorable, however, assumes that if the enthusiastic owner of the iPhone could successfully repair the device, the resulting price would be higher than in the case of standard service. On the contrary, unsuccessful intervention also affects the warranty of the device.

“One mistake that the user will make is enough, and at that moment, due to unprofessional intervention, the next repair at an authorized service center will lead to a paid replacement of the entire device, loss of warranty, or the repair may be rejected,” says Rozkošný.

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Průša also perceives a similar risk: “It is one thing to assemble a shelf from Ikey, it is another to service a telephone. I would not entrust the inexperienced iPhone 12 or 13 technician to the repair, “he added.

The question is whether Apple’s decision will not open a whole new market. “We do not expect the opening of a larger market, as the market with the offer of service services of this brand is already large today,” thinks Vladimír Lisoň, technical director of the company Český servis belonging to the investment fund Thein.

“It will divide the clientele into two camps. Convinced individuals who will repair their phones themselves and individuals for whom the service will not be available or will not want to take the risk of damage, and will leave the repair to professionals, “believes Průša.

This is certainly not the end of a situation that has been going on for several years. The Cupertino Company is responding to growing pressure from both US and European lawmakers, regulators and even shareholders.

“The timing is definitely not accidental,” commented Apple’s decision by Annalisa Tarizzo on behalf of Green Century, a long-running dispute over Apple. “The decision has been prepared for more than a year,” he told the server The Verge Apple spokesman Nick Leahy.

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The company would probably make the spare parts available anyway. However, by doing so voluntarily, she was able to keep the situation under control. As with the AppStor terms dispute, Apple wants to maintain control over what reaches end customers. It is a matter of maintaining the premium quality of the product and at the same time maintaining its high price. This applies especially to iPhones, which are the basis of Apple’s success and whose sales still represent the majority of the company’s sales.

Apple has been spending a long time millions of dollars for lobbying, which has at least suspended the changes. However, the pressure on technology giants is a supra-party affair in the United States, so the technology society has no hope of anything changing if the US government changes.

The right to rectification is also being discussed in the European Union. “It simply came to our notice then. However, we must not allow Apple to prevent users from choosing third-party spare parts and determine the price of spare parts on the market, “says pirate MEP Marcel Kolaja, who has long been involved in regulating technology giants.

“It’s essential that repairers and consumers have all the manuals and parts they need and that Apple doesn’t make it impossible to repair at the software level,” he added.

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