Repair your iPhone by yourself. It’s a dream sold by Apple to enlightened hobbyists with its software. Self-service repair launched in the US for iPhone 12 and 13. Sean Hollister, journalist edge, took the opportunity and asked for the famous repair kit to replace the battery of his iPhone mini. But it was a real obstacle course, which he withstood.
If the battery is only $69 and the tool rental is $49, you’ll have to pay an astronomical $1,200 deposit to access the kit, knowing you shouldn’t keep it for more than a week. You must also enter your phone’s IMEI number to prove you are the owner. And after reading the repair manual, which states that you need to have a bucket of sand with you in case the battery catches fire. What a shame to start.
The kit was delivered to Sean Hollister two days late as the countdown had already begun. It started badly. But above all, he did not look at all like the journalist imagined. He expected to get screwdrivers and pliers in a small box. Instead, two giant crates of Pelicans weighing almost 36 kg were delivered to his door.
Sean Hollister plucked up the courage to bring it all by train to his office in San Francisco. After unpacking the contents, he found professional equipment. Something to inspire confidence, since he was going to do repairs with Apple parts and Apple tools.
The smartphone is supposed to be able to be opened by simply heating the seal around the screen to melt it. Except that it needs to be done multiple times, and that the journalist broke out in a lot of cold sweats believing he was destroying his device. Issues not mentioned in Apple documentation.
Some of the tools have proven to be extremely complex, but have never been practical enough for the sometimes unnecessarily complex manipulations. “Apple needs three different screwdrivers just to remove the screen, and none of them are magnetized to keep the screws from slipping out”Sean Hollister says
Checking details remotely
The same observation to insert a new battery. The journalist had an excellent press at his disposal, but nothing to properly position the drums. He couldn’t close the phone perfectly. And most importantly, when he tried to turn on the iPhone, nothing happened. The battery really needed to be recharged. If it had been wired incorrectly, he would not have known. In the end, he was able to open the device but not get it to work because the iPhone didn’t recognize the new battery.
And there was one final step left: calling Apple’s third-party logistics company so they could check the part. This is a process that involves restarting your iPhone in diagnostic mode and giving it remote control. And therefore partly restores interest in doing everything yourself.
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For a journalist edge, it’s all just a charade. Apple gives the impression that it supports the right to repair, but makes it almost impossible. How can you imagine that the American giant would even for a second seriously consider shipping these gigantic trunks all over the country? It would have cost him a fortune, out of all proportion to the $49 rent. But he will be able to tell legislators that he left people the choice to repair their devices themselves, and that they preferred to use his services or the services of authorized repairers.
Remember that Apple fought in twenty US states against the right to repair, so as not to sell parts directly to users. The announcement of a self-repair program in late 2011 surprised everyone. But many observers were quick to point out its limitations and the fact that few people would ultimately be affected by the proposal.