Surely you’ve heard phrases like “you broke your smartphone screen? It’s better to buy a new one”, as well as similar references for computers, demonstrating that equipment repair is still a somewhat expensive market with difficulties in finding the necessary parts. But there are culprits.
According to iFixit co-founder and CEO Kyle Wiens, Microsoft, Samsung, Apple and other big tech companies are to blame for the difficulty of fixing the hardware. At a parliamentary hearing at which the ZDNet had access, Wiens explains that it’s difficult for third-party repairmen to get the tools and parts they need to fix smartphones, laptops, and other popular devices.
“We see manufacturers restricting our ability to buy parts,” according to Wiens. “There is a German battery manufacturer called Varta that sells batteries to a wide variety of companies. Samsung uses these batteries in Galaxy headsets but when we went to Varta and asked if we can buy this part, they will say they can’t because the contract with Samsung won’t allow them to sell it. And it’s a situation that is increasingly common.”
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is among the hard-to-repair devices. In fact, iFixit gave the Surface Laptop an unprecedented “zero” score, which is below the company’s normal range of one to 10. According to iFixit, the computer “had a battery stuck… we had to plow through the product and destroy it in the process of trying to get in,” explained Wiens.
Microsoft is not alone in making hard-to-fix devices. Apple has a charging chip on its MacBook Pro that is “tweaked enough to work only on this computer,” according to Wiens. The CEO explains that the company that makes the charging chip is under a contractual requirement with Apple, so it will not sell the parts to third parties.
In California, a recycler allegedly destroyed repair parts instead of selling them. “In California, Apple stopped providing service after seven years and Apple had warehouses full of parts and instead of selling them on the market – so someone like me who would eagerly have bought them – they were paying the recycler to destroy them. them,” said Wiens.
A proposed solution to this situation is to introduce a labeling scheme similar to the one introduced in France and Australia. This informs customers how difficult it is to repair a device. In France, a repair index applies to smartphones, laptops, televisions, washing machines and lawn mowers.
So, after this information, which we no longer had many doubts about, we realized that it is the manufacturers themselves who do not want the devices to be repaired, and to a certain degree we realize, since the manufacturers only make money by selling the product, and not with repairs (unless Apple has major repair centers).
However, this brings us to another problem, namely in environmental terms, as it is a very talked about topic nowadays and, in a situation where users are placed in an almost mandatory position of having to send their damaged product to the garbage instead of trying to repair, increases each person’s footprint, as indicated, is practically purposeful.