Earlier this month, CBC’s The National, aired a documentary investigating Apple’s repair practices, utilizing a hidden camera. The segment highlighted how getting an Apple device repaired by a third-party was much cheaper than getting it done by the iPhone maker at their retail outlets.
Now, CBC News has published another article highlighting what was covered in The National, but in article form with some more details from interviews that did not make it to air.
According to Motherboard’s editor-in-chief of technology, Jason Koebler, he tells CBC News, “I’ve broken my MacBook before and taken it to Apple and they wanted $700 to fix the screen. I ended up doing it myself for $50. This happens all the time.”
Koebler goes on to explain, “There are many third-party people out there who can fix things that Apple won’t do because it’s not profitable to do it at scale, or Apple would rather replace it altogether. There are a lot of reasons why people wouldn’t want to become authorized and work, essentially, for Apple, when they can work for themselves.”
Apple did not want to be interviewed for the CBC News story, but denied they are overcharging customers for repairs. The company said in a statement Apple customers should use their “certified experts using genuine parts.”
iFixit founder, Kyle Wiens, told CBC News his company has been threatened by Apple with legal action many times, for allegations related to violating copyright laws, such as details from company manuals being posted online.
“Because Apple writes the manual, they own the copyright to it, so if you post that manual online, they’ll send you a legal takedown threat,” Wiens explains, noting damages per incident can be upwards of $150,000 USD. He says these threats of litigation mean there’s a “damper on repair information online.”
Wiens believes once Right to Repair legislation passes somewhere in the world, it would result in floodgates being opened everywhere, as companies like Apple would want to streamline operations of the same products for all markets.
Louis Rossman, who runs a third-party Apple repair shop in New York City, was involved in The National’s original segment. Days after the documentary aired, Rossman claims one of his MacBook battery shipments seized by U.S. Customs was influenced by Apple.
It’s definitely not cheap to get your Apple products repaired by the company when it’s out of warranty. Earlier today, it was revealed what an iPhone XR screen repair would cost out-of-warranty in Canada, at $259.
Where do you get your Apple products repaired? At an Apple Store or third party?