Sidestepping Apple: the third-party tinkerers fighting for your right to repair

Online repair communities are spreading repair knowledge online to place power back in the hands of consumers

When Jessa Jones’s twin daughters flushed her iPhone 4S down the toilet, she decided that she was going to fix it herself. She took the toilet apart in her backyard, retrieved the device, and then searched online for how to make it turn on again. On DIY fix-it forums, she was informed that the first step was to replace the battery. She did this with relative ease, but the phone wouldn’t charge, which suggested that the water had also seeped into the phone’s motherboard.

For most, this would mean giving up and going to the Apple store. But Jones was determined. She had no experience working with electronics but by trawling through online tutorials, she taught herself how to use a soldering iron and replace microscopic components inside the phone. She eventually succeeded and got the device working again.


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