Right to Repair of Computer

The right to computer repair is currently a hot topic being considered by western lawmakers. Increasingly small businesses such as 2Tech Computing are being prevented form being able to easily repair equipment made by large corporations trying to further monopolize the marketplace.

Recently 2Tech Computer became reacquainted with the ‘booby trapping’ being used by Apple to try and prevent 3rd party repairs. Regardless of how premium Apple’s brand, inside its systems are components that can often be repaired or replaced. It may be as simple as a batter you want to buy and replace locally here in Maple Ridge, or it can be a part your tech must order, but just the same, the E-Waste associated with these ‘planned obsolesce’ and ‘booby trapped’ products is malicious, unethical, bad for the environment, against the customers best interests, and plain wrong.

This even before we consider the vast number of small businesses that thrive by servicing clients like yourself.

The recent trap we fell into was with a 27″ iMac. Lovely machine, however after Steve jobs passed Apple started making some fairly questionable decisions. Previously this model of computer had a glass plate over its LCD. You could access the internals easily using suction cups to remove the glass that was held in place with strong magnets. Elegant perfection is what it was. And if you broke your glass, it was very easy to secure a replacement for under $100 and easily install. Steve Jobs innovation to be sure. In late 2013 Apple merged the LCD and Glass into a single assembly, needlessly and then attached it using double sided adhesive instead of magnets. Now when a technicians needs to access your internals to replace/upgrade a hard drive or other part, the adhesive must be carefully cut all the way around the computer’s 27″ chassis. Its a difficult process and if you make one wrong move, like apply to much pressure, the millimeters thick glass cracks and breaks.

Because Apple merged the glass and LCD into the assembly, such a mistake is no longer just the glass but the entire screen assembly must be swapped. They cost more then the computer does a mere 8 years later. $800 for the LCD/Screen. So the hardest part of servicing the apple imac is opening it, which has this liability obviously.

Adding insult to injury you must buy a special adhesive kit to replace the original adhesive in order to put a screen back on.

This is not a premium product needing a specially trained technician, its blatant greed, malice, and an obvious effort to destroy thousands of small business jobs that provide a valuable service to millions of people.

So if you do hear about the RIGHT TO REPAIR do keep in mind that its not always about the quality of product you receive as a customer, but the ability of technicians in your local area to be able to service these machines thereby extended useful life and reducing e-waste.

So for a company that positions itself as socially responsible, the policies Apple enacts from the view of a small business technician prove otherwise.

Apple makes lovely machines, but some of these business practices need further considerations. Additionally, it is not just Apple that does things this way. Similar choices can be found in products like the Microsoft Surface where a screen replacement is liable to destroy the machine entirely.

2Tech Computing is familiar with these pitfalls and can still service your Apple Mac or MacBook successfully, but we will make you aware of Apple’s efforts to thwart service and point out any risks or liabilities along the way.