Meet the $ 21 Million
Company That Thinks
a New iPhone Is a
Total Waste of Money
We’re no stranger to iFixit’s in-depth teardowns here at Engadget, but the company has a plan that’s much more than ripping apart the latest gadgets to see what’s inside. Inc. takes a look at how the the company is helping the masses repair everything from smartphones to kitchen appliances and why they offer guides for doing so free of charge.
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Glixel chats with the former head of EA’s esports division who left to take the CEO chair at Liverpool FC about stepping away from games after a 19-year career.
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Anyone with a cracked iPhone screen knows what a pain it is to go through Apple to get it repaired. You have to make a Genius Bar appointment, which may or may not still require you to wait around for a service technician. Then it could be hours before you get your precious back into your possession. Or, you could use one of the repair kiosks found in nearly every mall in the United States and be back in business in about 45 minutes.
The problem is that kiosk and other repair shops like it might be running afoul of the law. Apple doesn’t have an “authorized repair” model for its iOS devices. The iPhone maker isn’t alone in this. Other electronics manufacturers only offer repairs via their own stores or workshops. This means individuals and small companies don’t have access to official parts or manuals. So they either have to scavenge what they need from broken devices or purchase them from grey markets and that’s how they get in trouble using counterfeit parts.
To keep small businesses out of trouble and to allow end users the opportunity to actually fix the things they buy, Motherboard reports that five states (Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota,Massachusetts and New York) have introduced “right to repair” bills. It would give shops the ability to buy the parts they need and get access to official manuals from manufacturers. and it’s not just tiny computers you put in your pocket, the bills also would affect large appliances and tractors.
So while most of us won’t be ripping apart electronics on our own any time soon, these bills will make it easier to get our devices fixed by third-party vendors. Even the kiosk folks.
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If you have insurance on your phone and smash the ever-loving tar out of the screen, you normally have to file a claim, pay a deductible and wait for a replacement device. Bleh. AT&T and its insurance provider Asurion, however, are trying something a little different. As of November 15, people paying to insure their phones can shell out $ 89 to — schedule permitting — have a technician repair that display that very day.
Same-day repairs definitely aren’t guaranteed, but the plan could work well for people who can’t go without their phones or don’t have the time for the traditional trade-in process. You stand to save a little money, too: the usual deductible for a high-end smartphone fluctuates between $ 150 and $ 225 depending on what it is, so just under $ 90 doesn’t sound like a bad deal for potentially speedy service.
There are a couple caveats you should know about, though — for one, the new plan only applies to certain smartphones. If you have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus or SE, you’re in luck. Ditto if you own Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5 or Galaxy S6. You might notice some very popular omissions from that list, namely the most recent iPhone and Galaxy S devices, but that’s probably because the requisite parts are more pricey or tougher to come by. Beyond that, the screen replacement plan is only set to launch in 14 markets come November 15; you can check out the full list (plus markets launching down the road) below.
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