Feeds

iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

New plan to make fixing iOS gadgets easier and rewarding

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Fixing and upgrading iOS devices can be a rewarding business opportunity, so long as you don't mind having to fight Apple every step of the way.

So says the founder of iFixit, who spoke at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco on Thursday. The repair outfit's CEO Kyle Wiens said there is little or no official public information for servicing the handheld gizmos: everything his company does, from its famous tear downs of new hardware to the manuals and how-to guides it publishes, are put together without any more access to Apple than is enjoyed by the average person on the street.

Wiens said he flies staff to Australia to get their hands on new hardware as early as possible to tear-down and review before folks in the US wake up hungry for the latest coverage. His repairs team also combs through the inventories of third-party resellers to obtain replacement parts and spare components that Apple does not offer.

He said that not only does Apple make fixing its fiddly electronics extremely difficult, but doing so with the blessing of the company is practically impossible: Apple's authorized technician certification apparently only applies to Mac computers, rather than iThings, and even that qualification is becoming more difficult to obtain.

"They [Apple] have done everything they can to put these guys [third-party repairers] out of business," claimed Wiens.

It is no secret that Apple is keen to keep all repair and service operations in-house, rather than let any third parties get a slice of the action. The company advises users to take their products to the Genius Bars in Apple Stores to arrange repairs or a swap for new working hardware. And Heaven help you if you've jailbroken your gadget – you're probably on your own after that.

But, Wiens pointed, not everyone lives near an Apple Store nor can everyone book Genius Bar appointments at convenient times. All this while third-party repair partners are discouraged from setting up shop to help people out, he said.

We asked Apple for comment, but true to form, Cupertino hasn't offered us anything in the way of a response.

In the meantime, Wiens said his company is hoping to fill the void by developing a set of kits and services for those brave enough to want to start their own repair businesses. He noted that while obtaining information and parts for repairs may be difficult, opportunities for entrepreneurs are out there.

It wasn't all Apple bashing, though: Wiens noted that his company's all-time least repairable fondleslab remains the Microsoft Surface Pro.

"I would not be excited about getting into the Surface Pro repair business," Wiens mused.

"iPads are difficult to disassemble on purpose, the Surface Pro is impossible to take apart because Microsoft is incompetent." ®

Updated to add at 1350 PT (2150 UTC) March 28

Apple has just got back to The Reg, but simply pointed your correspondent to its Authorized Service Provider Program. "We don’t have anything more to add beyond what’s provided here," the spokesperson added. "Sorry."

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.