78% of independent technicians offer more iPhone repairs than Apple

5C repair
5C repair (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • The U.S. PIRG Education Fund has surveyed 302 independent repair technicians.
  • They found that 78% of them offer additional repairs compared to Apple.
  • In-store, Apple will only repair your iPhone's battery, screen, camera, and speaker.

A survey of 302 independent repair technicians has found that most of them offer far more iPhone repair options compared to Apple stores.

According to U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a recent survey conducted with iFixit has revealed that 78% of those technicians offered additional repairs over and above those you can get in Apple Stores.

From the survey:

Working with iFixit.com, U.S. PIRG Education Fund surveyed independent technicians, and 302 phone repair technicians responded. Ninety-six percent of respondents fix screens, 95 percent fix batteries, 78 percent fix charging ports, 49 percent fix water damage, and 54 percent offer board-level repairs to customers (29 percent offer these in-store, and an additional 25 percent subcontracts out board-level work).This means that at least 78 percent of technicians reported their place of businesses offered repairs that fall outside what Apple said they offered. Because Apple does not offer board-level component repair for consumers' devices, 54 percent also offered a type of service Apple doesn't offer.

Repair Survey

Repair Survey (Image credit: U.S PIRG Education Fund)

The report claims that the 302 technicians between them repaired more than 40,000 phones per month. 41% of those repairs were not in a category offered in-store by Apple, being replacements of screens, batteries, speakers, and cameras.

The survey also highlighted the concerns around the lack of diagnostics software that these technicians have. When asked "Would your business be more successful if you had access to Apple or Samsung's repair diagnostic software?", 89% of respondents said yes. 92% of them also said that they supported Right to Repair reforms.

The report concludes by stating:

If third-party repair is eliminated, consumers will be significantly harmed. Many of the repairs that are being done by independent shops now would no longer be locally available. Not only are manufacturers restricting competition on repairs they offer, they are also denying access to necessary parts and information for the repairs they choose not to offer.Empowering more repair would cut costs for consumers and extend the lifespan of our electronics, reducing the material drain and pollution of manufacturing, and reducing the electronic waste heading to landfills.

You can read the report in full here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9