France is fighting to save your iPhone from an early death

Enlarge / An iPhone undergoes repairs. (credit: Apple)

Every time a new iPhone comes out, a team of technicians in the French city of Toulouse start to pull it apart. In the three years they’ve been doing this, they’ve found a device that’s gradually transforming into a fortress. Today’s iPhones are packed with parts that cannot be repaired or replaced by anyone other than an expensive Apple-accredited repair shop. And France doesn’t like that one bit.

It’s a problem that’s been getting worse and worse, says Alexandre Isaac, CEO of The Repair Academy, the renowned research and training group that runs the Toulouse workshop. Every time a new iPhone is released, his team finds another part that’s been locked to work only with a specific Apple device. First it was just a chip on the motherboard, he says. Then the list of parts with repair restrictions stretched to Touch ID, Face ID, and eventually the battery, the screen, and the camera.

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