Inside the iPhone Repair Ecosystem: Where Do Replacement Parts Come From and Can You Trust Them?

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

There’s a thriving market for unofficial, aftermarket iPhone parts, and in China, there are entire massive factories that are dedicated to producing these components for repair shops unable to get ahold of parts that have been produced by Apple.

The entire Apple device repair ecosystem is fascinating, complex, and oftentimes confusing to consumers given the disconnect between Apple, Apple Authorized Service Providers, third-party factories, and independent repair shops, so we thought we’d delve into the complicated world of Apple repairs.

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Looking at the iPhone repair ecosystem holistically, there’s a disparity between what repair shops want and what Apple is offering. It’s a fascinatingly complex situation where all involved parties feel their way is the better way, and it’s easy to comprehend why. 

Apple understandably does not want independent repair shops repairing iPhones with less than optimal parts and work that might not be up to Apple standards, but at the same time, Apple is running a repair authorization program that many repair shops find too restrictive, too expensive, and too wasteful. 

Demand for cheaper, more accessible repairs has led to a thriving independent repair community and a huge market for third-party components that’s entirely unregulated, ultimately creating this strange, confusing web of repair options that can be difficult for consumers to navigate. 

With no access to genuine parts or Apple component schematics, independent repair shops are going to keep doing repairs with what’s available, and despite Apple’s warnings, some customers are going to keep choosing what’s cheap. 

Right to Repair legislation makes the entire mess more interesting, because the repair ecosystem seems to be heading for some major changes. Either these Right to Repair laws are going to pass, or the legislation will all fizzle out, giving Apple a clearer path towards proprietary repairs and the eventual phasing out of the independent repair shop.

This is a pretty interesting read.

Earlier this year, I had to get an iPad screen replaced for the first time when my daughter’s iPad got dropped accidentally. I went to a local repair shop that specializes in fixing phones and tablets, the repair was affordable, and the screen works like new.

Source: https://www.macrumors.com/2018/08/14/inside-the-iphone-repair-ecosystem/