Anyone who’s ever owned an Apple device understands.
When that device, so precious and beloved at first, breaks down or breaks, you know you’re here for a few days or even weeks, depending on where you live.
First, you’re probably trying to figure out how to fix it yourself using YouTube. When that inevitably fails, then you have to find the local Apple store, where you hope the company has a Genius Bar.
Then you have to make an appointment at the Genius Bar, which, depending on where you live, could be anytime the next day or six weeks from now.
After that, you wait for the day to come, bring your device and wait again, usually in lines of several people, even if you had an appointment.
Then, finally, finally, you hand your device over to the counter genius, and if you’re very lucky, they fix it on the spot.
If you’re unlucky, however, this genie tells you that your device will have to stay there to be fixed by someone with more knowledge, or sent to a more competent place, or even replaced altogether, which will take.. . weeks .
Apple aggressively prevents self-repairs, Suit says
Now, however, a new lawsuit filed in California claims that you could probably avoid all but that first step of repairing your device yourself, except that Apple tricked its phones to prevent customers from fixing themselves.
Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., a technology major, did not respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, claims the company deliberately programs traps that make it nearly impossible for Apple customers to repair their devices, forcing them to use the company’s expensive repair process instead.
He also claims that these limitations are unfair to small businesses that would be able to repair Apple devices less or faster without the pitfalls.
He adds that barriers to self-repair are unfair to low-income Apple consumers, who don’t have the money or time to go through Apple’s lengthy proprietary repair process in order to get it working again. their devices.
The lawsuit is Granato, et al. v. Apple Inc., file number 22CV395280, and was filed in Santa Clara Superior Court on March 11.
You can Read all about it here.
So what does this mean for Apple customers?
Very few longtime Apple watchers will be surprised that a company well known for its aggressive business practices is inclined to protect its interests in the lucrative repair business.
Still, the alleged trappings described in the California lawsuit are notable for two reasons.
The first is that Apple has been down this road before and consumers thought they had won in the end.
After years of bickering and complaints from everyone from regulators to average people who just wanted their expensive Apple devices to work, the company last year announced a new program that would help customers fix their own Apple products.
Dubbed the Self-Service Repair Program, it rolled out to much fanfare in November 2021 and promised to help customers repair their own equipment by offering diagrams, instructions, kits, parts and tools.
So the news that the company might still be making those repairs impossible is sure to grate at least some of the originally frustrated Apple fans and regulators.
Will this hurt Apple’s brand loyalty?
Second, if Apple does introduce traps in some of the more expensive technology on the market, it raises the question of what might be in your device that is unfriendly or just plain junk.
Tech companies in general started out with a proactive view of data siphoning and gradually retreated into the collection of masses of personal information by lawmakers and other watchdog groups and court rulings.
But whether Apple has indeed introduced tools to thwart customers who want to repair their own property, especially after promising it would forego pushing its own aggressive repair process, that raises questions for even the most diehard fans. from Apple.
Brand loyalty is the crown jewel of Apple’s business strategy and always has been. When it’s tarnished, it can start hitting the bottom line quickly – and make someone think twice about buying that brand new thousand-dollar iPhone, and maybe opting for something else instead.