Why should I care?
Tech products are among our most expensive household purchases, and their prices keep climbing. Not long ago, the price of a high-end smartphone was $650. Today, new Apple and Samsung phones start at $700 and $800.
The average household would save $330 a year if it repaired products rather than replaced them, which adds up to $40 billion nationwide, according to a study by the U.S. Public Interest Group.
By prolonging the life of your gadgets, you would also put more use into the energy, metals, plastics and human labor invested in creating the product.
Why don’t more people repair their tech?
There are several barriers to repairing consumer electronics that can make it intimidating.
Basic repairs, like replacing a shattered screen or a depleted battery, are not simple. Modern gadgets are so thin and tightly glued together that special tools are usually needed to pry them open. It’s also not straightforward to buy genuine parts — you can’t go to the Apple or Samsung website to order a replacement screen or battery, for example.
Fixing basic components is also becoming increasingly impractical for unauthorized repair shops, especially with Apple phones. Many important parts inside newer iPhones, including cameras, batteries and screens, require proprietary software tools to finish the job, independent fixers said.
Going to the Apple and Microsoft retail stores and authorized repair shops is a simple option, but the costs there can be so high that you…