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Apple Hardware

HomePod Repairs Cost Almost as Much as a New HomePod (theverge.com) 129

This may not come as a huge surprise, but it's going to be pricey if you break Apple's fully sealed and densely packed new speaker. From a report: Repair pricing for the HomePod was posted to Apple's website this week, and the number is high enough that it's clear you should invest in a warranty if you're worried about breaking one: an out-of-warranty repair from Apple will cost $279 in the US, which is 80 percent of the price of a brand-new HomePod. So you're not so much repairing it as getting a small discount on a new one.

HomePod Repairs Cost Almost as Much as a New HomePod

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  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday February 11, 2018 @12:46PM (#56104485) Homepage

    why there is a fixed price to the repair. Surely the cost of repair depends on what is wrong, so I can only suppose that the charge for repair has a lot of profit baked in.Yes: I understand that repair will include a charge for labour, but it was put together in the first place. All the more reason for 'right to repair' legislation that forces a vendor to provide spare parts.

    • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @01:21PM (#56104651) Homepage Journal

      Repair is a fixed price because the factors in "repair" are always the same.
      1. support call and approval of "repair"
      2. shipment of a refurbish unit from inventory
      3. recovery - added to refurbished inventory

      It's unlikely that you get your same unit back from any sort of business like this. In some cases the unit may be opened up and the main board(s) are swapped out. In other cases the unit is put into a recovery pile and customer receives an equivalent refurbished unit. This is usually the case for warrant service, but it can happen in cases where customer is paying for repair.

      • Repair is a fixed price because the factors in "repair" are always the same.
        1. support call and approval of "repair"
        2. shipment of a refurbish unit from inventory
        3. recovery - added to refurbished inventory

        It's unlikely that you get your same unit back from any sort of business like this. In some cases the unit may be opened up and the main board(s) are swapped out. In other cases the unit is put into a recovery pile and customer receives an equivalent refurbished unit. This is usually the case for warrant service, but it can happen in cases where customer is paying for repair.

        Exactly.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @01:22PM (#56104655) Homepage
      Most likely reason, given the fixed price? Because they know it's not viable to repair the thing and they're planning to simply replace any faulty units at cost - including any admin/diagnostic/handling fees, etc. - so the price of doing so is pretty much a constant. I'm fully expecting this to set a new low on repairability when iFixit does their inevitable teardown. Ease of repair, or even a reasonable capability to recycle, electronics has taken a back style to looks for a long while now and this is just the next step along that path. Besides, there's still plenty of places to use for landfills for all the faulty electronics that it's not economical to repair, right? Just as long as it's not in *my* backyard, of course.

      "Right to Repair" can't come soon enough in my view, but I just don't see much support from Trump's government or the Democrats in the states where Apple, etc. are based, and the lobbying opposing it from the consumer electronics companies is likely to be fierce too. The EU might get something passed, however, at which point it's going to be interesting to see whether Apple et al apply that globally to retain economies of scale, or take the path of EU-specific models that can be repaired.
    • for any device that comes in bad. Modern electronics aren't very repairable. The whole thing is probably a giant block of solder with an occasional computer chip and a pair of speakers.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      The "repair" is a lie. There is no repair. What you get is a discount on a new one.

      Just remember that you are the product here and these things spy on you by design.

    • why there is a fixed price to the repair. Surely the cost of repair depends on what is wrong, so I can only suppose that the charge for repair has a lot of profit baked in.Yes: I understand that repair will include a charge for labour, but it was put together in the first place. All the more reason for 'right to repair' legislation that forces a vendor to provide spare parts.

      Because obviously, Apple isn't really equipped to handle repairs on this type of device; so they worked out a deal with a vendor, possibly the manufacturer, to do flat-rate repairs. They tack on 10% and call it a day...

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @01:04PM (#56104563) Journal
    Makes no sense. Just spies on you anyway. Why would you want that? Don't even say 'convenience'. Too many of you give up too much for 'convenience'.
    • That's my fetish (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe I like being spied on.

    • Just spies on you anyway.

      For whom? Some company that provides a service in exchange for your data with the "massive" downside of them building an advertising profile? Woes me!

      Why would you want that? Don't even say 'convenience'.

      Convenience. You don't get to ask a question while prempting the obvious answer.

      Too many of you give up too much for 'convenience'.

      Too much is in the eye of the beholder and changes a lot between person and person. Do you live an adulterous homosexual life of freaky fetishes in a country you may be beheaded for doing so? You may be giving up too much. Or maybe you just ask Google / Siri what the weather is out

      • I think you and anyone who willingly has always-on devices in their house that hears and/or sees everything that goes on 24/7, and that has been demonstrated as being capable of spying on you, both by the company that makes it, and capable of being hacked by 3rd parties (criminal or government) to collect data on you, are FOOLS. How do you feel about that? Rhetorical question, I don't give a damn what you think, nothing you can say will change my judgement of the matter. You are fools if you have these or a
        • How do you feel about that?

          Complete indifference. What you think doesn't phase me in the slightest.

          I don't give a damn what you think

          I know it shows. You have an incredibly short sighted perspective and demonstrate an inability to think about how situations apply to a wider group of people. Fortunately we are all not *you*.

          • LOL I find it utterly ironic how you're calling ME "short sighted" and "unable to think how something applies to wider groups", when that is precisely what I am doing!

            Enjoy being under a microscope, exhibitionist.
            • when that is precisely what I am doing!

              By generalising you are doing precisely the opposite of thinking.

    • Makes no sense. Just spies on you anyway. Why would you want that? Don't even say 'convenience'. Too many of you give up too much for 'convenience'.

      Prove that the HOMEPOD spies on you.

      I'll wait.

  • by GeekWithAKnife ( 2717871 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @01:17PM (#56104631)

    I know I'm supposed to give some sort of insightful comment but today I will be giving a loosely poetic, haiku-inspired rant instead.

    To discourage the frivolous repair requests and pay for all the "hassle free" returns repair costs must be high.

    You do not really care that the costs are high because a Home Pod belongs in the home. The proof is in the name.

    You will own one, you will pay for it when you buy it, when you repair it and when Apple monetizies whatever clever data collection they have on you, anonymously or not.

    It's quite a recent iThing and you already own many iThings and you know old iThings get "battery optimised" to slow down so you might as well buy.

    Also, poor people cannot afford to pay a repair bill that is near the amount of the original item, assuming they can even pay for the original. You, you are not like a poor person, you can waste money so you won't even care.

    In fact I just recently bought a HomePod, to put in my home where the Pod belongs and I ruined it just so I can prove I can afford the stupid repair costs and then asked Siri what to do and bought another! AND it connects to all my iThings. Flawless.

    Thank you Apple for making iThings. They complete me.

    (I admit to breaking with traditional haiku structure. I opted for 19-24-24-32-28-44-53-9 instead)
    • Believe it or not, a lot of us haven't even bought a smart watch yet and we still use 3.5mm ports, because we recognize the new way of doing things isn't always the best way. I can see myself setting up an open-source assistant with open parts some day perhaps, if I can ever have a full English conversation with it. Otherwise these things are just annoying amusements for people who think they're too important and busy not to have an assistant. Google Voice in the car is a lot better than typing stuff on
  • by Hallux-F-Sinister ( 5127197 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @01:19PM (#56104639)
    ... is an advertisement for why not to buy anything from Apple. I am so sick and goddamned tired of their bullshit. I hope as many people as possible will help Apple be a better company by PUNISHING rather than rewarding misbehavior of this kind, by refusing to buy their products. When people ask why you would not consider buying whatever the latest, ludicrously overpriced gadget Apple is trying to force-feed you, just say, “because Apple has become a monster and I refuse to aid or abet them in their crimes against the people.” That is why I won’t buy anything from Apple anymore.
    • by MikeMo ( 521697 )
      Did you norice that the Google Home costs more? Apple’s pricing is not “misbehavior” or a crime against humanity. What you don’t seem to understand is that the value of anything is exactly how much someone is willing to pay for it.
    • The only way I can explain why people buy their crap is stockholm syndrome. It's the only way. I edit video for a living. When a friend and colleague showed me his brand-new MacBook Pro with the new "touchscreen bar" at the top, all excited about the "potential it unleashed" depending on context (Premiere, AE, whatever), the only thing that sprung to mind listening to him was "stockholm syndrome". It's the only way to make sense of it. I won't even get into the non-upgradeability, repairability, cost or d
      • In other words, you have prejudices, and are willing to make any stupid assumption to maintain them. You didn't really listen to your friend talking about the possibilities of the touchscreen bar, you just jumped to conclusions.

        • No, the touchscreen bar revealed itself as a complete waste of time. A good editor's left hand over keyboard shortcuts will save huge amounts of time over whatever functions you might add to the gimmick that the touchscreen bar is. But hey, it looks cool!
          • There are lots of stupid-looking things that most people don't like that some people really like. If someone claims to like the touchscreen bar, I'd assume that it happens to work for that person rather than that that person had gone totally irrational.

    • I've been primarily a "Mac user" since around 2000-2001, when I got really tired of the Windows world and discovered the new Mac OS X operating system and all the new hardware Apple was suddenly creating under Steve Jobs' take-back of his company.

      Apple really had a good run between 2000 and Jobs' death. Under Tim Cook? I feel like the company hasn't been nearly as pleasing to support and follow along with. The thing is though? Like a lot of Mac users I know, we're all pretty heavily invested in the ecosyste

    • I hope as many people as possible will help Apple be a better company by PUNISHING rather than rewarding misbehavior of this kind, by refusing to buy their products

      We have a distributed method to determine the desirability of various products, in which no one asshole dictates what everyone should buy. It turns out that Apple does very well according to that method, sometimes called the "free market". If people didn't like what Apple products did for them, they wouldn't buy them.

      • I hope as many people as possible will help Apple be a better company by PUNISHING rather than rewarding misbehavior of this kind, by refusing to buy their products

        We have a distributed method to determine the desirability of various products, in which no one asshole dictates what everyone should buy. It turns out that Apple does very well according to that method, sometimes called the "free market". If people didn't like what Apple products did for them, they wouldn't buy them.

        D’awww... it’s so cute when someone pops up and expresses a seemingly sincere, and not at all sarcastic assertion that they believe in the existence of something like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or free markets. Yer adorbs!

        The barriers to entry into this free-market (which Apple was only able to enter itself because it was ALREADY a tech manufacturer, it ALREADY HAD the ability to manufacture portable electronic devices, it ALREADY HAD legions of cultist fans, people who no longer properly

        • You seem to think that companies should produce what you want, rather than what's best for them. We have a lot of competition in computer manufacture and phone manufacture. There are barriers to entry, sure, but there's still plenty of manufacturers from a variety of countries. (This does not apply to desktop and laptop operating systems. There isn't a free market there, which leads to many of your complaints in your final paragraph. If there were a free market, someone would be selling and maintainin

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @01:37PM (#56104691) Journal

    Apple's overarching policy is to discourage recycling at all costs. They even mandate recycling companies to destroy perfectly fine iPhones Macbooks. [vice.com]

    I have to laugh at Apple fanbois (and sockpuppets) that claim Apple's ostensible green credentials. Truth is, there is no worse company in IT at the moment, than Apple. At least Microsoft doesn't explicitly order recycling companies to destroy their hardware - thought repairability of Surface and Surface laptops is abysmal and effectively nil. But at least they don't lay down the pretense as thickly as Apple does.

    • by TRRosen ( 720617 )

      There is a reason you send things to a recycling company "TO RECYCLE THEM". Like every other company they do not want to be fined for their goods ending up in a trash heap in China and they don't want their products reputation damaged by unreliable used components.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Apple's overarching policy is to discourage recycling at all costs. They even mandate recycling companies to destroy perfectly fine iPhones Macbooks.

      Yes, because you know what's worse than shredding a working computer or phone?

      Having said phone end up on eBay with data intact. And with working units sold for scrap, some unscrupulous employee, or the company management might do just that - if Apple sends them a working unit to recycle, it may end up on eBay.

      And really, in this day and age of people stealing

  • What are you doing with your Homepod that it needs repair? It just sits on a table in the corner. It should be out of the way so you don't spill water on it. You won't be moving it around every day, so there should be no physical wear and tear. Plug it into a surge suppressor to protect the electronics from transient electrical surges. Don't keep it under a bell jar... that could cause heat to build up, and would also impede the microphone and speaker.

    If Apple did their job right, it shouldn't need repair
    • It's actually designed to be moved every so often. There's an accelerometer that when tripped, instructs the homepod to recalibrate the sound. Seems an odd design choice if the engineers expected the users to never move their speaker.

    • You have never had electronics fail on you for any reason other than physical damage?
  • by e**(i pi)-1 ( 462311 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @02:18PM (#56104847) Homepage Journal
    The economics of buying new rather than reparing applies already to many products. There are two strategies: buy good quality and repair if damaged or buy cheap and replace often. Unfortunately the second choice appears to be the better one even for producs which do not innovate that fast. For example: I bike everyday, summer and winter, the bikes start to deteriorate after about two years (which is for me about 6000 miles), pretty much universally so that I have to replace a lot, like breaks, gears, pedals, cables etc. (smaller things can be fixed nicely in bikes still fortunately). Bringing such a bike to a shop can cost close to get a new cheap one. Expensive bikes last longer as the quality of the ingredients is better the chance of having it snatched away. Also with electronics which are carried around, I started to buy frequently new cheaper products more frequently than expensive in larger intervals. Also there, the danger of losing it, or having damaged keyboard, charging plug or battery issues etc makes the first option the better one for me. It is a bit unfortunate that many products also are less and less self repairable.
  • You (collectively) wanted stylish, small, and cheap. The laws of manufacturing and hardware design don't allow you to just throw "easily repairable" into the equation without paying for it somewhere else.
  • How much does it cost to repair Soros speakers if they break? That's who Apple said they are competing with here, and those speakers are more expensive.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If apple thinks they are competing with Sonus, they are utterly delusional. The fucking thing doesn't even support multi speaker setups out of the box. That is one of the fundamental basic features of a Sonus speaker system, hell even a google home or amazon echo can do this already.

      The fact they claim it is coming with a future software update tells me the product is rushed out the door, and they couldn't figure out how to do multi speaker, so they just commented out all that code and will make an attempt

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @05:20PM (#56105491)

    How exactly would you damage one?

    It's a lump.

    It sits there looking lump-like.

    Occasionally, you talk to it.

    If it talks back, it's no longer just a lump: instead, it's a talking lump.

    Mostly it just sits there.

  • I'm just as grumpy as the next guy about finding out about yet another product you can't easily open up and do repairs on. But this thing is just a speaker with some wireless network connectivity, essentially.

    I've got some pretty nice Bluetooth wireless speakers over here (a pair of Harmon Kardon Onyx mini's, and my wife has a pair of UE Boom 2's), and these even have rechargeable batteries inside them. Yet they don't look too repairable either. MAYBE the Onyx can be disassembled. I see some "how to" stuff

  • They have a history of abandoning devices.

    1. Airport Express. I have a bunch of perfectly good routers serving up music in various rooms. Have to use windows to configure it since apple obsoleted the config util on macOS.

    2. Apple TVs.

    3. The old white Bluetooth keyboards.

    At this point even MacBooks look like a dead end purchase so I'm sticking with my old 2012 pro until it's dead. Then we'll see.

  • ...Apple bend over tax!

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