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iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens: Apple is doing all it can to put third party repair shops out of business

iphone 5s teardown

Like clockwork, anytime Apple releases new hardware, the good folks from iFixit are first in line to pick one up, take it home, and skillfully pry it wide open for the world to see. Over the past few years, Apple has taken ever greater steps (such as using pentalobe screws) to ensure that opening its products is a challenging task not feasible with ordinary tools.

With that as a backdrop, iFixit founder and CEO Kyle Wiens, while speaking at Macworld last week, articulated that Apple is doing "everything they can to put" third party repair shops out of business.

[Wiens] said that not only does Apple make fixing its fiddly electronics extremely difficult, but doing so with the blessing of the company is practically impossible: Apple's authorized technician certification apparently only applies to Mac computers, rather than iThings, and even that qualification is becoming more difficult to obtain.

Apple prefers to have all product repairs done in-house, and thus advises users to take iDevices in need of repair to local Apple stores. The problem with this, Wiens explained, is that not everyone lives near an Apple retail store, and even those that do often struggle to book Genius appointments at convenient times. While increasingly rare, some states, like North Dakota for instance, have no official Apple retail store presence whatsoever.

For more insight into the iFixit business, make sure to check out Chris Breen's 47-minute Macworld interview with Kyle Wiens and Scott Head, both from iFixit, over here.

Lastly, it's worth highlighting one notable excerpt from Wiens on the philosophy behind iFixit.

Apple would prefer that you buy the product from them, use it for a while, and then if something breaks, either you pay their repair price or you go and get a new one. And while we respect that perspective we disagree with it. We really think all of you should be able to fix everything that you have. And so we're doing our absolute darndest to make it easy for people to get into these things. We don't want it to just be possible to do a repair, we want it to be easy. And that's the idea with these repair guides...

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