Apple ‘loses money on phone repairs’

Smashed iPhone

Apple says it loses more money than it makes when repairing customer devices such as iPhones and Macbooks.

Answering questions from US politicians investigating anti-competitive practices, Apple said it had lost money on repair services since 2009.

Apple typically charges more than unofficial repair shops to fix things such as smashed screens.

But the company also said customers were “free to obtain repairs from any repair shop of their choice”.

In September, Apple was sent a list of questions by a US House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating “competition in digital markets”.

In response to a question about how much the company earns from repair services, Apple said: “For each year since 2009, the costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs.”

The company currently charges £326.44 to replace the screen on its new iPhone 11 Pro Max, and £596.44 for other repairs on the device , if it is out of warranty and the customer has not bought the AppleCare+ protection plan.

It charges £152.44 to replace the screen on an out-of-warranty iPhone 8.

Prices at unofficial repair shops vary, but are usually significantly cheaper than an official repair.

The BBC found third parties retailers that would replace an iPhone 8 screen for between £50 and £90.

Responding to the US committee, Apple said: “Repairs performed by untrained technicians might not follow proper safety and repair procedures and could result in improper function, product quality issues or safety events.”

Asked whether it took any action to block consumers from seeking an unauthorised repair, the company said: “Apple does not take any actions to block consumers from seeking out or using repair shops that offer a broader range of repairs than those offered by Apple’s authorised technicians.”

Apple told the BBC it had nothing to add to its written answers to the committee.


Apple also answered questions about the Maps app, which is pre-installed on its iPhone and iPad devices.

In 2012, the company was criticised for removing Google Maps as its default navigation app. Many customers said Apple Maps had launched before it was ready.

In its answers to the committee, Apple said it had invested “billions of dollars” in its map software.

It suggested the reason it decided to develop its own Maps app was to give customers more control over their privacy.

BMW chairman Harald Krueger

The chairman of BMW has warned Boris Johnson no-one would win from a no-deal Brexit and urged the new Prime Minister to listen to business.

BMW is one of a number of car companies that have expressed concern about leaving the EU without a trade deal.

This week, Vauxhall-owner PSA said it could move all production from its Ellesmere Port site, where it builds the Astra, if Brexit makes it unprofitable.

Such a move would put 1,000 jobs at risk.

BMW closed its Cowley plant for a month in April after planning for the original Brexit deadline of 29 March.

However, last month it committed to begin building its new electric Mini at the site in November.

In his previous role as foreign secretary, Mr Johnson last year allegedly used an expletive when discussing business concerns about a hard Brexit at an event for EU diplomats.

When pressed about using the word, Mr Johnson refused to deny the claim and said he may have “expressed scepticism about some of the views of those who profess to speak up for business”.

Mr Johnson has said the UK will leave the EU by 31 October, with or without a deal.

Recent figures reveal investment in the UK car industry has fallen sharply to £90m in the first six months of this year compared to £347m in the first half of 2018.

The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders said, however, that companies’ spending on contingency plans for a possible no-deal Brexit had now reached £330m.

Mr Krueger made his comments after BMW reported a 28% drop in pre-tax profits for the second quarter of the year.

The firm attributed this to investing heavily in electric car production and said it still expected to hit its financial targets for 2019.

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November 2019