Apple "forcing" iPhone battery replacements via authorised repairs


Just saw this over on MacRumors:

I appreciate from experience with 3rd party laptop batteries that the OS may not correctly display the battery’s remaining time / etc… and not all batteries are made equal… But this just reeks of revenue raising to me.

Australian consumer law, if I recall, stopped car manufacturers from insisting that repairs / services are carried out by their own branded mechanics. This surely should fit in a similar ballpark?



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It does reek, somewhat, but apparently its OK for Apple certified repairers to do the job. Interestingly, apparently even if a real Apple battery is put into an iphone with a dead battery, it will still be unable to report battery health. Nasty, I say.

Years ago when my Mac Quadra died, I got a quote from the only authorised Apple repairer in Darwin. My parents insurance company wanted a second.

I called numerous places til eventually an electrician was willing to look at it. They of course however couldn’t give a realistic quote on repairs, because they couldn’t access Apple parts, and they said whilst they could attempt to physically repair the power supply, the damage to the logic board was not something they could do. (Lightning strike)

China’s spare parts industry has solved the “access to parts” issue. I am sure that most of the little kiosks that you find in every shopping centre these days that offers repairs on iPhones / iPads etc are not certified Apple repairers. Yet - they are still in business, so there’s obviously demand.

Any software or hardware restriction that limits customer choice and requires customers to use a service only the manufacturer can provide is never a good thing.

Although having a mechanism that exposes some of the truly subpar aftermarket batteries on the market isn’t a bad thing (and not all batteries are bad; there are some aftermarkets I’d easily trust and recommend over the genuine item), I don’t believe for a moment that Apple’s motives are as pure as “wanting customers to know a repair was done correctly”. My years of service with them have perhaps left me jaded and cynical, but not without reason, and given the numerous examples of questionable decisions and service practices that have come to light over the years, anyone that genuinely believes that the sole reason for making moves like this is because Apple has their best interests at heart is beyond the point of convincing otherwise.

These days, I say sit back and watch the fireworks. Support your local reputable businesses and independent repairers, and purchase from companies that act in accordance with your values.


Also interesting…

Sounds like an extension of the Authorised Service Provider Program, where stores will be contractually bound to set conditions in return for access to parts, but with fewer barriers to entry.

The terms and conditions of the agreement, and what restrictions are in place, will determine whether this is a positive move or not.

If for example Apple permitted independents access to parts on the condition they only used genuine service parts, then only provided genuine parts for the last few generations of products to discourage repairs of older devices, that would present an issue. The cost of parts, conditions of access to them, whether stores can purchase components for local stock to expedite turnarounds or whether it’s a “order as necessary, one per serial number, pending Apple approval”, among other key details, remain as-yet unknown.

So I’m optimistic, but cautiously so.

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