There is also another issue why Apple is restricting "part harvesting": theft. iCloud locks or Samsung's KNOX lock entered the field because the manufacturers were pretty pissed that customers using their devices in public became a target for "enterprising" robbers who'd factory-wipe the devices and flip them to a pawn shop or second-hand store in a matter of half an hour. When people are afraid to use your products because it paints a phone-sized target on them, they won't buy your product.
That cut down on a lot of the robbery bullshit, but then criminals simply found new buyer classes - they'd simply part stolen devices out and resell everything but the iCloud/Knox/whatever locked mainboard. Displays, cameras, speakers, batteries, flex cables, cases, everything.
So now, at least Apple is tagging the most "valuable" parts in new phones, simply to make stealing them unattractive for thieves, which frankly sucks but is necessary because it's a public safety issue.
(If anyone at Apple is reading this: ffs, allow the legitimate owner of a device to "unpair" all components in their phone in iCloud so that legitimate second-hand shops can strip a broken device at least for its parts)
While anti-consumerist practices such as this authentication mechanism sometimes accidentally protect the consumer, it is not the reason why companies do it. If it were, they would also allow you to say “yes this replacement is desired.” Similarly, if it was about security and preventing backdoored parts, they could allow you to authorize the replacement.
But no, it is of course about money grabbing, and then the consumer is the opponent.
Such an ignore button would allow theft to continue and would allow users to make poor security decisions. I agree that something needs to happen to enable easier or maybe more privacy focused 3rd party repairs but I also appreciate my device being less of a target.
I think the point is that an unsuspecting buyer of, e.g. a screen replacement, could end up going to a shady repair shop that uses stolen parts, sees the message once, clicks "OK", and moves on. The reasoning being that this scenario would cause some demand for black market parts.
The suggestion from OP whereby the seller of a used phone logs in and "unpairs" the parts could avoid this, unless a robber forces you to do it under duress.
But if that were the case, there would be plenty of people willing to sell you a refurbished screen for your 2 year old iphone for $100.
By restricting the reuse of parts, when you crack the screen of your old phone, you are faced with a $500 repair bill, and decide to just pay your phone company $50/month for a new contract that comes with a new phone.
and before you dismiss it given the time of day or one off, armed robberies for cell phones are way up in chicago and they are occurring in broad daylight . the crime that keeps getting covered and that I know someone who this happened to is, 1 -2 people walking on the street, a car pulls up with 4 people . they all get out and have guns and force you to give up your phone and passcode. Armed Robberies are way up 44% 7978 cases and they are all for iPhones and passcodes . people are getting pistol whipped when they don't cooperate and increasingly even when they do.
My comment is in response to your “yes this replacement is desired.” button in a world where parts can be harvested from a phone and used in a different one. My understanding of what you mean is if phone A were stolen and parts removed from it and installed in phone B then phone B would get the “yes this replacement is desired.” button instead of whatever is in place now. My feeling is this button would be no different from just not having a button at all. The user of phone B will almost never care what that prompt says and will just click through, they're certainly not going to consider the parts were stolen from phone A.
But if the phone doesn't turn on you can't authorize the removal. And if it turns on but a factory reset is enough to let you authorize the removal, you're back to square 1. Either way it's not feasible.
the phone is likely linked to an apple account. seems reasonable that if the components are approved for a specific phone and that phone is linked to an icloud account, that account could permit a swap?
That assumes that you managed to ask the previous owner to log into iCloud on another phone and "free" the previous one for repairs. I guess you could do that if he's buying a new iPhone from you, but still... it is similar to the Macs that are stuck on the previous owner's enterprise account.
You should search what happens when these phones are stolen with Apple's lock on them.
It's almost always the same play book:
- moves to some US address nearby
- turns off for days
- shows up in Shenzhen or Guangzhou
Usually from there are a few attempts to phish the owner with fake iCloud alerts (and sometimes outright threats) before they strip it for parts.
To be clear it's not like the phone theft itself is part of some concerted effort by Chinese actors: there are only so many places where the tools and skills to strip down, repackage, and resell something as specific as an iPhone speaker unit are so common
Does that happen? I've not heard of that. Regardless, that does iPhones are still immune to everything short of armed robbery. That your front door lock doesn't stop thieves from smashing the window to get in doesn't mean it doesn't serve a purpose.
I dont buy the anti theft angle either. People's phones still end up stolen, and they are still contacted by the thieves to remove the icloud account. ICloud is a good enough feature to prevent theft, and having authorized repair options in it is great. So, that notion is already pretty bad. If someone replaces the motherboard with a blank iPhone(no iCloud attached), then a check of parts that are serialized to an iCloud account should be implemented to prevent harvesting parts from a locked iPhone. There are better consumer friendly methods that Apple simply ignores.
No need to try to defend them based on unsupportable benefit of the doubt possibilities. If their motivations were actually for the users benefit, then the user would have these options and be benefitting.
Yes. I could see a better system being made. Perhaps alerting you that the screen was marked as stolen and refusing to have it operate. Hell, for screens in particular you could display a “please return to <original owner>” message and nothing else.
I think this is being downvoted as it initially reads as a snarky way to say "the way it works now is fine", but reading closer I think they are saying it should only happen when the screen is marked as stolen which seems reasonable
I don't know why iFixit doesn't even touch on that point.
I live in Barcelona and phones are being pickpocketed every day here. Not being able to wipe or unlock or else is a mayor deterrent for the pickpockets, because noone will take the phone off of them, so it's not worth it. Phones are still being stolen but imagine if they could sell to a global market of repair shops.
You couldn't go to any tourist location without having your phone stolen if it wasn't bolted to your person.
I get the iFixit point as well but if I have a 1500€ phone, I don't want to think about it being stolen, when I am on vacation, because someone needs some parts (oh the human trafficing/organ harvesting similarity...)
Apple should offer a better repair program and offer the ability to "unlock and relock" it in a apple store with proper proof of ownership. Or anything else in that direction.
> I get the iFixit point as well but if I have a 1500€ phone, I don't want to think about it being stolen, when I am on vacation, because someone needs some parts (oh the human trafficing/organ harvesting similarity...)
Do you think thieves are that descending? I know someone whos iPhone 14 was stolen in London. If this helped protect against theft, then why did they steal the phone anyway?
> Of course thieves are discerning. They are running a profitable criminal enterprise.
I can promise you the person who stole this iPhone doesn't run a profitable criminal enterprise. But I am also not disputing that someone along the theft value chain, someone will likely be discerning. However, your claim seems to conflate a criminal enterprise and the theft value chain with an individual thief.
Also, I find the notion that it is very risky to steal something in London hard to believe, but if you have some data to back that up I would be happy to change my mind.
>If this helped protect against theft, then why did they steal the phone anyway?
They are plenty of stories on Reddit and TikTok where the stolen phone ends up in China, and then the owner is phished into disabling iCloud so that the phone could be wiped. If not the sold is phone for parts. To me the very fact that you need an entire phishing ring to make stealing iPhones profitable means that there is some cost that deters thieves from targeting iPhones.
Barring phishing, the next best thing is to scrap it for parts. I can see Apple's reasoning here - if most of your growth is going to come from poorer nations it makes sense you don't your customer base worry about carrying a year's salary in their pocket.
I'm also unconvinced it's a "money grab" on Apple's part. Locking down repairs will not come anywhere close to replacing the lost revenue from the consumer's slowing upgrade cycle.
You can tell the theft thing is an excuse from Apple because they don't do things like allowing you to unlock parts you own, or even buy genuine new parts that definitely stolen without silly restrictions like needing to put in a serial number first and then contact Apple to pair it (this is probably done to make it almost useless for repair shops because they want to push their even more restrictive "independent" repair program)
>tell the theft thing is an excuse from Apple because they don't do things like allowing you to unlock parts you own
This would only make sense if Apple had an existing system for customers to unlock their own parts and then disabled it. The system you are talking about doesn't exist, and the idea that they built X but didn't include X+1 because of "greed reasons" isn't entirely credibly.
While you could argue that maybe someone brought the idea up and it was shot down by some devilish exec, it's equally likely to me that
(1) no one at apple thought of the idea
(2) since the product would be customer facing it is some apple design hell along with the iPad calculator
(3) no one cared enough to spend the political points to push for the product
(4) the problem just isn't prevalent enough to justify the cost.
There are plenty of reasons why Apple could be building this to reduce theft while also not building some other auxiliary system.
Something Louis Rossmann who advocates for right to repair, says (I'm paraphrasing of course) is that it's not necessarily that they explicitly go out of their way to say "let's make repair harder", but when there are no incentives to improve the situation it won't be worked on at all and that has the same effect, so it's still important to push them to do it
In the last link, the user explains in the comments that when they marked the device as stolen, they could choose some text to display on the screen and they chose to include a phone number that they had access to.
Plenty of people hope for a good samaritan interaction and will do something like that.
also idk if they ever changed it, but a long time ago I found a phone that was locked and no identifying information shown. I asked siri to call 'my' mother and she arranged a pickup.
If thieves have to rely on people seeing thieves as good Samaritans and trusting thieves with their contact details after they were robbed by them, we definitely have entered a realm of absurdity. But while this hypothetical realm is devoid of all reason and logic, theft still remains.
> How do the thieves get the contact details of the person whose phone they stole to fish them?
If the phone is set to display notifications when locked, you can see the usernames of friends of theirs in notifications on the screen.
I found a locked iPhone on the ferry one time and saw Snapchat notifications from their friends on the lockscreen. I sent a message request to one of the users on the notifications, and told them that I found the phone on the boat and that the owner of the phone should contact the ferry company to retrieve the phone as I would hand it over to the crew of the ferry.
Similarly, if your goal was to be a thief instead of being helpful you might keep an eye on the Instagram notifications of the phone, and then cross-reference friends of those people to figure out who owns the phone.
Granted, that's dealing with stolen iPhones getting sold and an entirely set of other problems. You'll note that 26.8% of them were either unlocked, easily guessable, or in one instance had the credentials there (compare shoulder surfing before stealing the phone).
> Of phones they won at auction (at an average of $18 per phone), the researchers found 49 had no PIN or passcode; they were able to guess an additional 11 of the PINs by using the top-40 most popular PIN or swipe patterns.
Not sure I understand. The father's phone was stolen, and the son was contacted, and the son logged into the account.
Anyone can pop out the sim card and plug it into any dumbphone, navigate to settings and read the phone number. I assume there's probably a USB device to dump data on a sim card.
>Losing it is not the same as having it stolen, though.
Your phone is lost until you attain the information that it was stolen. I fail to find it now, but there was a tiktok of a woman who lost their iphone at festival and it turned up in china where she also was unsuccessfully phished.
> Losing it is not the same as having it stolen, though.
Your phone could disappear and you would assume it fell out of your pocket or that you left it somewhere, when in fact someone could have stolen it from you while you were not paying attention.
And besides, most people probably don’t expect that a thief would respond and trick them into unlocking the phone for them. Instead the expectation might be that a thief would not respond, and that if someone responded they are a good samaritan trying to help you.
I’m highly dubious of anyone claiming this reduces crime.
Things being easy to steal and sell aren’t the _cause_ of crime, they’re a symptom. If someone has felt the need to resort to a life of crime for whatever reason, how is lowering their “salary” (so to speak) going to reduce crime? Surely they now need to steal more phones to make up the difference? I guess you could argue they might commit a different crime instead?
> The next step to talking profits out of stolen iPhones is to make harvesting parts difficult.
I would 100% buy this if you showed me data that indicates that part harvesting is behind most of the remaining theft of iPhones, which it very well may be, but if we have the data we would not have to guess.
Especially catalytic converters. Can be stolen from an unprotected (i.e. no massive baseplate) car in below 30 seconds, and nets you about 1000$ a piece from junkyards willing to ignore the sawzall marks.
Few people would choose a life of crime as a hobby, or if it wasn't paying much better than an average entry-level office job, so it's not like someone decides to resort to crime and then later considers the financial aspects. Most get into it because of the quick money.
To use a hyperbolic example, if the median profit for stealing a phone would suddenly drop to $10, where their only value are the easily extractable raw materials, a 20-fold increase in theft would be less likely then a rapid drop in theft.
Currently there are avenues to remove iCloud lock, where licensed repair shops or Apple employees remove them for some extra cash , so the value of stolen iPhones is greater than the raw materials, making it attractive. But with higher regulation, that could change.
It’s not that it reduces crime overall, it’s that it reduces a specific, very inconvenient crime to be the victim of. Having your phone stolen, especially on vacation, is significantly worse than many other sorts of theft.
Maybe people resort to a life of crime because it makes them money and they like money, not because they have no other option. People readily accept that rich people do morally wrong things (like exploit their employees etc) for more money. So why assume that the only reason people in general would do morally wrong things is because they need to to feed their family?
> So why assume that the only reason people in general would do morally wrong things is because they need to to feed their family?
I don't think anyone has ever made that claim, but people do tend to do what's easy/convenient and it's a lot easier and more convenient to put in 8 hours in a safe climate-controlled office where you get medical benefits and a salary you can depend on than it is to go out every night mugging people or trying to pick pockets, then trying to figure out how to sell your stolen goods, all without getting killed, robbed yourself, or caught by police.
Most people need to make money somehow and nobody is picking the most dangerous, risky, effort intensive means to make that money when they have other options readily available.
The harder it is for someone to make money doing anything other than commit crimes the more likely they will be to commit crime and for some people (those with few resources, and addictions and/or past criminal records for example) it can be very very hard to get and maintain legitimate employment.
Its like poisenous plants. Being poisenous doesn't prevent the single plant from getting eaten. But it makes it very unlikely, that a lot plants of that species get eaten. So while a single iPhone might get stolen, overall there are less if many thieves targetting iPhones. They don't bring money, but increase the risk of landing in prison.
> So while a single iPhone might get stolen, overall there are less if many thieves targetting iPhones.
Do we have data to show this?
> They don't bring money, but increase the risk of landing in prison.
I also don't think the risk of going to prison for theft in London is that high. Sure, stealing an iPhone increases it, but an increasing an insignificant risk by a factor of 10 could still leave it being insignificant.
There is probably a "trailing indicator" effect at play here. I believe people don't sell the phone immediately, but try and find a buyer later. It will take a few thefts of un-sellable iPhones before the thief realises that the risk is not worth the reward. These changes don't trickle down immediately.
> It will take a few thefts of un-sellable iPhones before the thief realises that the risk is not worth the reward.
But his only bears out if thieves can easily discern an iPhone 14 from other phones, which I'm not sure is that easy in the context they operate. And it also requires it to be risky to seal in London, and I think if that were the case then theft would be less prevalent there. And I think if the people in London cared about having their iPhones stolen, they would take political action to that effect.
But sure, it all sounds very plausible, though I would still like to see data to back it up. It may be, but it also may not be.
> Yeah the profit margins will be smaller per phone but they will just steal more.
The risk of getting caught scales with that increased volume. The extra friction of parting out a phone for less money compared to selling the whole phone beggars belief that "stealing more" is the most common response.
"iPhone theft getting less profitable raises the rate of theft" just doesn't make sense.
Yes, classically, thieves just scale up their operations tenfold when their profit per theft goes down. This is why iPhone theft has skyrocketed in the past decade, to the point where the general public is anxious to ever wield such a device in public for fear of being immediately snatched.
What is the relative rates of occurrence of phone theft vs. phones breaking in a way that requires repair? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that far far far more people have a phone that needs to be repaired than have a phone that gets stolen.
So making repair worse to make theft "better" seems like a bad tradeoff to me. And that's even presuming that this stated goal actually works. I would expect that a very non-trivial amount of phone theft happens without knowing the model. Assuming that's the case, having 1 manufacturer make selling parts non-viable doesn't really help that much.
So A) even if it was 100% effective that seems like a bad tradeoff to me and B) I'm skeptical of how much difference this actually makes in theft rates.
I know that I personally, if choosing between a phone that I knew for a fact would 100% never be stolen, but also couldn't be repaired, vs. a phone that could easily be repaired but was subject to theft, I would choose the repairable phone every time. It's an anecdote, but I've never had a phone stolen and literally every single phone I've ever had has needed repair at one point or another.
Luckily, for like $4/mo (and $29 per incident), Apple will replace the screen for you. You can break your screen every year and it will cost you less than the $100 that screen would cost on the open market.
> What is the relative rates of occurrence of phone theft vs. phones breaking in a way that requires repair?
i would think having a permanently useless phone would stop the first rate from ever increasing much. you are walking around with a grand in your pocket everywhere you go so to lower the risk of violent robbery is good.
People were robbed at gunpoint before cell phones and will continue to be robbed at gunpoint even if every single manufacturer adopts this policy. This is not some magic bullet that stops crime. There is another commenter in this very thread describing being mugged at gunpoint and his mugger forcing him to go through the Apple unpairing process in order to make the phone completely flippable as a whole device.
Not to mention that it is not infinitely worse. There is some relative amount of needing repair to being robbed at which it becomes a bad tradeoff. Where that point is is probably different for different people. But that line exists somewhere for everyone.
> (If anyone at Apple is reading this: ffs, allow the legitimate owner of a device to "unpair" all components in their phone in iCloud so that legitimate second-hand shops can strip a broken device at least for its parts)
I was robbed at gunpoint (but not in a 'problematic' part of town) and the thief outlined all the steps he needed me to take to remove my phone from Find My and from iCloud. I think a lot of these mitigation measures could make sense but there's no perfect solution.
IMHO this is a huge problem. A thief just wants to steal your phone. To ensure the value of the device, it’s now common to force you to provide your passcode. This gives access to all your data, can be used to reset your Apple ID password, lock you out of your account, and erase and lock all your other devices. This problem never existed before, and it’s significantly worse! Like, way way way worse. It’s so bad I wonder if I should really be signed into my Apple ID on my phone at all. Because I don’t give the slightest care of someone stealing my phone. But I do care if they have access to all my data, erase and lock me out of all my other devices. I really care about that. And this problem only exists because Apple locks down the device and all parts.
> And this problem only exists because Apple locks down the device and all parts.
It would likely be a problem even without the lockdowns and official parts flowing freely, because even if Apple is selling the parts with zero margin, black market and gray market parts supplied from stolen devices are still going to be cheaper, which means there will still be a demand for them from unscrupulous repair shops that use cheap parts of questionable origin to gain an upper leg on shops playing by the rules. There will also always be individuals doing DIY repairs who won’t care where parts come from so long as they’re cheap.
It's much easier on Android to setup all kinds of alternatives. You could setup a 'dummy' key that if entered would alert the police, for example. Failing that, you can setup different keys for different services with different levels of access, as well as have third party equivalents to 'Find my iPhone'.
Not being in the walled garden provides a lot of freedom and flexibility to setup contingencies.
Maybe... But ignoring the fact this lgel of customisation is unlikely for any normal and most tech people, you'd likely require root to override the core system and password auth I'd imagine. I believe this ends up invalidating what is core functionality for most people - banking, wildvine, etc.
If we're moving into the realm of the ultra paranoid, high security over convenience focused user - sure. In fact I dare say such a user might prefer a Linux phone with physical keyboard, or no phone at all. But if we're talking average iPhone or Android users here, I can't imagine the scenario would change much at gunpoint.
> But ignoring the fact this lgel of customisation is unlikely for any normal and most tech people,
This is HN though...surely there are a lot of people who care about security and have experience using custom roms.
> you'd likely require root to override the core system and password auth I'd imagine
Honestly, even a simple solution would be putting on something like Prey, which is free and easy to use, and using a third party applocker tool. Those two things don't need a custom rom or any other customization.
Apple should have a duress system. You have say 48 hours to contact Apple and tell them the change was made under duress--and you do so with the *old* credentials, not the new ones. All changes to your account revert and the phone locks itself to your account once it sees the network.
There's a significant difference in risk in robbing someone at gunpoint vs just slipping their phone out of their pocket. It's awful that that happened to you, but it's important to realize that just because a specific security measure could not prevent what happened to you, that doesn't mean it's wholly ineffectual or not worth having.
> , but it's important to realize that just because a specific security measure could not prevent what happened to you, that doesn't mean it's wholly ineffectual or not worth having.
I think you are missing the point of the comment. The GP says that Apple should allow parts to be unpaired to allow re-use of components; this example suggests that there is utility to keeping the existing security system.
I mean the perfect solution (from a theft perspective) would just be only allowing Apple to remove the phone from your iCloud account at a physical location when presented with ID. Annoying for people selling their phone, sure. But that plus the hardware paring would make it functionally worthless to anyone but you.
I do not accept this as a reasonable answer. I've lived in not even very good areas, with very lax physical security (often not locking my car) and have never had this issue, ever. Nobody has ever stolen my phone. Not in downtown Detroit, not in not-downtown-Detroit, not in SF, not in Chicago. If crime really is this bad, it's not an Apple or Samsung problem. It's a societal problem that extremely badly needs to be addressed seriously and not just worked around with convenient anti-consumer garbage.
“No one has stolen my phone so I don’t believe that actions to stop phone theft is necessary”
I’ve heard plenty of stories of people getting their phones stolen in public. Especially when I was in school, we’d hear of plots like kids coming up to students and asking to call their parents because they’re scared and alone only to run over to a car waiting around the corner and drive away.
You can argue it’s unnecessary, but it certainly chilled the market for stolen phones. They’re pretty obvious targets and they’re very personal. Not worrying about it as much is a big win, but some people have other priorities and that’s ok too.
I didn't make that argument at all, so it's pretty annoying that you've cornered me into arguing it. I really don't respect when people do this.
I never, ever argued against "actions to stop it". I argued against this action. I never argued that my anecdata that my phone has never been stolen means that all action against theft are unnecessary, but I believe it is good cause for me to want a phone that doesn't have excuse-driven anti-consumer anti-repair garbage built into it to "prevent theft" that has never been my problem.
I am, however, arguing that this is not how we should be dealing with problems like this. It, in fact, should be illegal.
No one is forcing you to argue that position. You said “my phone has never been stolen… Apple shouldn’t solve this… sell me a steal-able phone”.
My counter is that a primary reason you never had a stolen phone is the anti-theft solutions implemented by private companies.
Personally, I think removing the incentives to theft is a great way to reduce it, and this is particularly effective. Sure repair-ability would be nice, but I repair it so infrequently and it’s sufficiently cheap that I don’t mind. As an example, expecting the police to successfully hunt and remedy every petty theft of all the phones that would be stolen instead would be a lot less resource efficient for society. We have enough crime as is that the police have better things to do than fail to find a lost phone.
> No one is forcing you to argue that position. You said “my phone has never been stolen… Apple shouldn’t solve this… sell me a steal-able phone”.
Once again, no I didn't. Hell, the snippet "Apple shouldn’t solve this" doesn't even appear in my text.
At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe you're being deliberate in doing this, because I don't understand the need to paraphrase me. If I didn't think all of those details and qualifiers were necessary, I would've just left them out myself. And while I understand that my writing is not succinct, it's not like I wrote a novel, so why not just quote what I actually said? Otherwise, it feels like I'm just having to explain how my position differs from the one you're arguing against.
> My counter is that a primary reason you never had a stolen phone is the anti-theft solutions implemented by private companies.
I will quote myself:
> I never, ever argued against "actions to stop it". I argued against this action.
Note that while I have owned a couple iPhones, the last iPhone I owned only had one "paired part" that I am aware of. I am not arguing against iCloud locking as a concept. I am not arguing against all anti-theft measures.
I can see why someone may miss this from the first comment I made, since well, I didn't explicitly say that part. However, at this point, I don't understand what else I can say.
> Personally, I think removing the incentives to theft is a great way to reduce it, and this is particularly effective. Sure repair-ability would be nice, but I repair it so infrequently and it’s sufficiently cheap that I don’t mind. As an example, expecting the police to successfully hunt and remedy every petty theft of all the phones that would be stolen instead would be a lot less resource efficient for society. We have enough crime as is that the police have better things to do than fail to find a lost phone.
I am not suggesting police go and try to find every lost phone. I am suggesting that we have a serious societal problem and we're not really doing anything about the problem itself. The fact that police can't handle every single case suggests to me that it's completely out of control. It'd worse if this was the same for e.g. shoplifting, or breaking and entering... which it is, in some areas. But we don't accept that as "normal", and we shouldn't accept this as normal either.
I realize you were explicit about the fact that police action was just an example of something that one could do, but I find it interesting that it is the example you would go to. While a lot could be said about Japan, with far less prisoners and prosecution, they have generally a lot less issue with crimes like these in particular based on both anecdotal evidence and published statistics, yet it feels like it is a foregone conclusion that there's nothing that can be done about all of this petty theft. I call shenanigans.
Furthermore, while this may sound reasonable in an era of disposable phones and new shiny toys every year, I think it's a horrid long-term outlook. To me paired parts isn't worth it: it's a threat to sustainability and civil rights, as I think Apple's practices tend to be widely emulated regardless of whether or not the outcome for consumers is ultimately good. It's already getting harder and harder to buy computers, new or used, that do what you tell them to. Paired parts is just another dark step in the wrong direction.
In the future, Apple product launches will be measured in the volume increase they make to landfills.
That's not what this is and you know it. The equivalent would imagining a fictional world where we could say just raise the dead or Borderland's style instantly print you a new body at the phone-booth down the street. In that world there's no point to murdering you, they get no benefit it's only an inconvenience to the person being murdered.
In that world you need very little actual protection against murder because there's no incentive to do it. That's the current state of iPhones, you don't need to lock them up, use those chest pickpocket proof bags, or strap them to your wrist because no one wants to steal them.
It's much less common now, since all the major brands brick themselves when stolen (though it's starting to be common to either shoulder surf the pin, or to grab an unlocked phone out of people's hands, then rapidly reset 2FA and email passwords).
I agree with the GP comment that it should be possible to make phones theft-proof and also repairable though.
Counter anecdote: My coworker in SF had his phone stolen by someone who grabbed it from his hand and leapt through a closing BART door, so that my friend had to watch the thief walk off as the train pulled away from the platform.
Most people haven't had their phone stolen. That doesn't mean phones aren't stolen.
> It's a societal problem that extremely badly needs to be addressed seriously and not just worked around with convenient anti-consumer garbage.
The societal problem is that people got used to paying over a grand for a thing that fits in their pocket.
> Nobody has ever stolen my phone.
Put yourself in the position of the thieves. You would want an easy target; one that if push came to shove that they wouldn't be able to injure or detain you. How big are you, physically?
My wife had her iPhone stolen in the north side of Chicago maybe 15 years ago - in a good area no less. Some big guy followed her to her apartment asking to make a phonecall for some made up emergency. She's 5'2" and was like 90 pounds at the time. She did the math on how it was likely to go and just handed it over, as it was late at night and she was alone. Predictably, he ran off. (As an aside, I think it's hard for men to understand exactly how vulnerable women feel in general - as ne'erdowells see them as easy targets compared to even men of similar size)
The same thief may have thought twice if it was me - because I'm a man rather closer to 6' and 200lbs. He may win that fight and get the phone, but not without me getting some licks in - an unattractive proposition, since a broken orbital or finger cuts into those profits.
It's a big world. Haven't you seen videos of phones getting stolen out of peoples hands from thieves on scooters in places like Brazil? Or the millions of tourists in Spain and Italy whose cell phones would become major targets.
In other parts of the world where the cost of a new iPhone is much more expensive relative to local earning power it does happen. I've had coworkers who had their phones stolen in Spain and Brazil for example.
> AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Police are investigating an international crime ring that targeted Austin City Limits Music Festival. Authorities believe a half-dozen people worked together to steal approximately 1,000 cell phones from festival attendees. Police say five people have been arrested but more suspects are involved.
Someone tip toed carefully into my house while I was sleeping in it, in the Mission near Valencia St., and cat-burgled* my wife's phone off her nightstand, at around 3am. We have some pictures of his legs (?) that he took in some bathroom later that evening. Finally it winds up pinging its location at a Mission phone repair shop, which of course the guy there is saying he has no idea what we're talking about and maybe the phone is "upstairs."
We didn't report, because last time I reported someone breaking into my garage, the two SFPD officers were talking about people interested in my "printer." Nothing was stolen, because it woke me up and I yelled at them from above.
I don't really know what the economy is around stolen phones. It surely exists. I don't know why you would want to die on this hill of ignorance. It's a quintessentially social media thing to do! You have no dog in this race.
There have been recent stories about how thieves were looking at people entering their passcodes into their phones, snatching the phone when it was unlocked and using the pin to disable iCloud/Find My.
...You can't use the device PIN to disable iCloud. You have to put in the iCloud password. And you really do have to put it in; even if the iPhone is unlocked, security features like that always require the password.
I think they were doing something like going to settings -> Apple ID try to change the password incorrectly many times (or something like that). That would basically lock you out of your own iCloud account (at least for a while) so you couldn’t lock or track it via find my.
I recommend using the “Screen Time” feature on iPhones to protect against this. You can basically set a _different_ 4 digit pin to access some of the settings of the iPhone, including the Apple ID one. (The setting becomes grayed out and inaccessible until you disable screen time).
This is exactly how it works. If a thief knows the passcode (be it numerical or more complex), he can change your iCloud Account password without knowing the current password and disable Find My without.
Apple acknowledges this and seem to be ok with it .
Not speculation at all. I can tell you for certain this is what they're trying to combat.
The "require the device receiving the part to be verified" is just a consequence of how it's currently implemented. There are ways to implement this without the need to do per-device pairing, but doing so in a secure way is quite difficult. I suspect they'll eventually remove the requirement to pair devices using system configurator, if only because this removes the need to have chat assistance with pairing. That's costing them money to have a call center, and they want to avoid it I suspect.
> I can tell you for certain this is what they're trying to combat.
> There are ways to implement this without the need to do per-device pairing, but doing so in a secure way is quite difficult.
Is this based on first-hand knowledge? I'm skeptical on both fronts because I neither see any evidence this is what's being combatted, nor do I see the technical difficulty of being able to self-authorize your phone's parts to be used in repairs.
Sure it takes some engineering effort to get there, but I wouldn't expect it to be particularly challenging from a technical point of view. The phone is already linked to a user account, and the phone's parts are apparently already linked to the phone that's currently using them.
So, the technical challenge is related to managing the following things (all simultaneously):
* Apple wants to make sure components in an authentic phone are not capable of being stolen and resold (this is a problem today, even with the pairing, although it is less valuable due to pairing)
* Apple wants to make sure that if you change components, that the replacement component is authentic
* Apple wants to make sure that if you change components, that the replacement component is not stolen
I can't comment on specific implementations, but allowing users to just re-pair devices in the current state would not allow the above 3 goals to be met. By restricting who has access to the pairing tools, they can achieve those 3 with the downside being obviously it leads to a crappy user experience for repair.
My point is that Apple currently does not appear to have tight control over the serial numbering or whatever on the external components (display, etc) in a truly secure way. If you let anyone re-pair devices, then that opens the floodgates to 3rd party vendors being able to make devices that appear as 'authentic' components, which does not accomplish #2.
As it stands today, you can already use any random components, you'll just get a pop-up telling you it can't be authenticated.
The problem, as I see it, with having a method to 'pair' and 'unpair' components right now... is that I don't think Apple is really doing anything too special to 'pair' devices. My guess is they're just using a serial number of the device (display, camera, whatever) and making sure that serial matches the what is programmed into the mainboard. If you allow any random person to change the paired serial number for say, the display, then you no longer have any guarantee that the new display is actually an authentic device. Maybe someone aftermarket makes a bunch of devices with 0xDEADBEEF as the serial number so you just always pair that.
If Apple knows that serial number 0x12345678 was sold to you, and that it is the component you want to install, then they have a guarantee that this part is authentic and should work properly.
So, Apple needs a way for you to pair a serial number, but also that the serial number you're pairing is authentic. I'm not sure they have the second piece today.
The rationale of putting engineering time into developing sophisticated anti-repair schemes instead of selling spare parts directly under some threat of a part black market is completely bonkers to me.
Sorry, I'm not buying it, this is Apple protecting their exclusive repair turf and nothing else.
It seems pretty easy to implement the "unpair" functionality you ask for.
If "Find My iPhone" (the anti-theft subsystem) is disabled, then the serial numbers for all the parts could be sent to an Apple database, and/or the components could have a "ready to be re-used" bit set that caused them to factory reset themselves if the phone they're plugged into changes (so any state on the re-used thing wouldn't somehow leak into the other phone).
I'm not sure how to define "phone they're plugged into" though. Whatever board has the NAND + security coprocessor on it, maybe?
That does sound like a pretty good solution, if it can be done for a broken phone. The major issue I see is that refurbish companies are already complaining about "bricked" MacBooks, because nobody actually cared enough to ensure that those laptops where reset before being sold. I don't see the same industry being capable of guiding users through resetting permissions for spare parts.
A better solutions is to take the direction FairPhone has chosen and make the things that break user-serviceable and offer the parts for sale on Apples own website. If the issue is that phones are being stolen and sold for parts, just flood the market with cheap parts. The new iPhones are absolutely massive, so I'm not buying that you can't make them a bit thicker and allow a user to take them apart. How many people use their phone without a cover anyway?
If Apple is serious about being more environmentally friendly, then make a user serviceable phone. Not replacing your phone because fixing it is either impossible or impossibly expensive is going to have a much bigger impact than buying carbon credits for people who charge their watch. My best guess is that Apple is so obsessed with just-in-time production and so hostile to the idea of stocking parts, that they can even see the potential benefits.
According to iFixit, they've solved the "this is physically hard to repair" problem. Also, Apple aggressively recycles components, and is making bold claims about carbon neutrality of manufacturing this release cycle. On top of that, the cost of repairs is dramatically lower for the new models (again, according to the iFixit article).
So, I think those issues are mostly fixed, or at least best-in-class.
The problem of "I bought your laptop, but you didn't disable anti-theft" is questionable. Here's how to sell a macbook so that it can be used by the purchaser and so that your data is wiped:
It takes 4 clicks (and probably a password entry), and it's easy for the purchaser to confirm it was done before forking over cash (assuming they turn on the machine to confirm it can POST). If the seller forgets to do this, they can initiate the wipe + unlock remotely via iCloud.
Apple parts are pretty cheap already, so that's not the issue either.
As far as I can tell, all the complaints boil down to people wanting to fix phones without Apple's authorization. Its a valid complaint, but it only really impacts independent repair shops at this point.
I'd also like to see better support for third-party replacement parts (like with PC's), but I don't think there is any realistic market demand for that, and it is not what people are asking for.
You can try to push that as a marketing strategy, but I would say the share of the market that looks for smartphones specifically because they are less of a target for theft is minuscule, the reason being because nobody shop for phones thinking about getting robbed. They shop mainly guided by ecosystem (android Vs ios) brand perception (how good their aftersales support is), budget and cost-effectiveness. In this sense, device lockdown is clearly a anti-consumer practice, not pro-consumer.
Earpods and phone parts in this context are fundamentally different because earpods are a peripheral whereas cameras, batteries and such are components for an embedded system. I can't see how they apply to the discussion.
...people weren't stealing ear pods the were stealing iPods. The theft of Apple products is a legitimate saftey concern. By preventing a market for stolen iPhones (ie to be cannibalised for parts) they are increasing the safety of their users.
> nobody shop for phones thinking about getting robbed
I don’t know the safety situation of where you live but I literally had this conversation with friends two weeks ago where we loved the idea that the iPhone is a better purchase because it’s less prone to theft (because of the reasons GP mentioned).
Enough for non-anecdotal people to shift their entire ecosystem to a diffent brand? People in general won't just switch from Android to iPhone because "filthy criminals are after my brand new phone for parts". If apple wasn't going to lock their parts and Samsung would, people would still keep buying iPhones.
> (If anyone at Apple is reading this: ffs, allow the legitimate owner of a device to "unpair" all components in their phone in iCloud so that legitimate second-hand shops can strip a broken device at least for its parts)
If you've lived in certain places, you'd know this isn't a solution at all.
Thieves will start holding people at gunpoint forcing you to unpair it all while they wait.
They can already "unpair" the phone by removing it from iCloud, as you say. The phone could simply check whether the serial number on a part is already associated with an iCloud registered device and if not, allow it to pair. Fairly obviously, they don't do this because it would reduce the demand for their parts, which is a multibillion dollar business.
> iCloud locks or Samsung's KNOX lock entered the field because the manufacturers were pretty pissed that customers using their devices in public became a target for "enterprising" robbers who'd factory-wipe the devices and flip them to a pawn shop or second-hand store in a matter of half an hour.
It wasn't just the manufacturers who were pretty pissed at that. Minnesota passed a law requiring smartphones to have a kill switch that would allow the owner to remotely render the phone inoperable . Then California did, with the California law also making kill switch support be turned on by default. Those laws have been in effect since mid 2015 and were quickly followed by a huge drop in smartphone thefts.
Phone theft is also a big deal at music festivals. Last year an entire backpack full of phones was recovered. People who lose them either never hear from them again, or see them in Find My as a brief blip somewhere hundreds or thousands of miles away. Sometimes they're shucked on site and all you find is your empty phone case on the ground.
It's already awful to lose your phone, but even more so when you're at a multi-day event you paid hundreds to attend.
>That cut down on a lot of the robbery bullshit, but then criminals simply found new buyer classes - they'd simply part stolen devices out and resell everything but the iCloud/Knox/whatever locked mainboard. Displays, cameras, speakers, batteries, flex cables, cases, everything.
This would be way less valueble to do if the companies just sold the parts are reasonable prices.
The extreme ways fixers have to go to to source parts for legitimate repairs concerns is insane.
The entire reason there even is a whole ecosystem of people picking apart phones in Shenzen is because it's so darn difficult to source it any other way!
I agree, and I think there's a compromise. Allow the pairing of harvested parts, but also allow users to report their unit as "stolen" so the parts can't be paired.
However, this is probably fraught with problems that Apple doesn't want to deal with. Users will want to know if someone tried to pair their parts and they'll be hit with a large number of subpoenas daily from people who want to know which repair shops had their stolen phones.
How much were you paid to shill Apple for this top post?
If this were a real issue, then I as the device owner should be able to toggle this on and off as needed. But that hits deeper, since this is a device that's being sold as "purchase" when I don't have real control - Apple does.
At best, this is a rental being mis-advertised as a purchase.
Well I think you hit the nail on the head. They aren’t working on the most important aspect of the puzzle (your last point), not because they aren’t reading HN comments, but because that would have a very negative effect on their bottom line.
It's really stupid. How many people get their devices not stolen vs stolen. I would bet 99% is conservative? sounds like an excuse to just make it harder to repair and make the product useless much earlier.
Or they could just sell official replacement screens for $50. The price of an entire budget smartphone. Thefts of iPhones would plummet. The phones would be worth more to consumers. A small drop in sales perhaps due to more repairs.
I completely fail to understand the anti-theft argument, help me out here.
So the theory is that, once thieves will see you're carrying an Iphone, they won't bother taking it. But why? You're already being mugged, everything that's even remotely valuable will be taken. Why would they let their victims go, just because their valuables are more difficult to flip? "Give me all your valuables - oh wait, that's an iphone, nvm my bad you're free to go" is that the idea here?
And on being less of a target for getting robbed in the first place - you're carrying an expensive af iphone, chances are you can afford to carry a lot of other expensive valuables too. If you're worried about getting robbed, start with not carrying a device that's more expensive than a fridge.
My condolences to everyone who actually had to survive through a robbery. But I doubt it could've been avoided just because your Iphone was currently difficult to sell. People can get robbed regardless of their perceived wealth, it's a happen-stance crime.
> oh wait, that's an iphone, nvm my bad you're free to go" is that the idea here?
In Brazil I've heard stories of muggers holding up e.g. a bus and not bothering to get iPhones. This was a while ago, before the trade routes to get stolen phones across the world for disassembly and parts resale were as developed as they are today.
There are more robberies than a mugging. Pick pockets are a real scourge. If you have a reliable way to turn stolen goods into currency, you are incentivized to take that item. Jewelry -> pawn shops for example.
The anti-theft measure here makes it not profitable, or much harder to profit, from taking a phone because you can't resell it or strip the valuable parts. I had a friend get pick pocketed in spain, and the next day the phone was several countries away.
Just because people can get mugged regardless of perceived wealth doesn't mean that we don't try to reduce the risk.
It's about EV per phone. The more security, the lower the EV. Eventually, it isn't even worth it for informed, career pickpockets to take it. There'll always be pickpockets, but phones are much less of a target because of measures like these.
Moving stolen electronics for phone components has been a consistent revenue stream for a long time and there's a lot of organization that goes into it. No one is pretending this solves the problem, rather that it creates a negative incentive for targeting phones specifically.
The world of scamming and petty theft is vast. I've known some real slick thieves, and they are of the opinion that lifting a phone is just not worth it these days. However, this deterrent is obviously going to be effective on a spectrum. If someone is trying to sell you stolen goods, are you going to buy a new iphone from them on the off chance you can get parts out of it?
I was under the impression that a typical theft is more of a grab-and-run. At least all the thefts I’ve witnessed have been that way. So picture not a back alley mugging from the movies but tourists in a crowded area or commuters on public transit, already holding their phones out in front of them.
It sounds like you are visualizing the typical robbery as a thief stops you in some location secluded enough that they have time to get you to remove all your valuables and hand them over.
It actually is typically a grab and run in a crowd.
We know making smartphones harder to flip deters this because in 2015 when it become mandatory for smartphones to require a remote kill switch the owner could use to kill a stolen phone the theft rate for such phones dropped significantly.
> You're already being mugged, everything that's even remotely valuable will be taken. Why
That's your mistake right there, the challenge to steal isn't identical for different things, and also depends on the things.
For examle, there are plenty of cases where the thiefs snatch the phone from your hand (even while you're still talking), so making resale value low helps here
> you're carrying an expensive af iphone, chances are you can afford
That's the second easy mistake - the "chances" can be low, so the fact that you hypotheticall can afford doesn't help the actual criminal much (if you're jogging with a phone chances that you carry much valuable besides the phone is very low).
A lot of phone thefts are quick pickpocketing/snatch-and-run, or snatch-off-a table, not some Hollywood "stick-em-up, give me everything you have" type of situation.
People target expensive phones, period.. but having fewer ways to turn those stolen phones into enough money to justify the risk means people will be less inclined to directly target them (especially when other brands' expensive flagship phones may be easier).
Similar concept in general physical security/theft deterrent, really.. put up a bigger challenge than others in your vicinity and you're less likely to be targeted.
Reminds me of a Louis Rossman video  where he shares his frustration with Apple's independent repair shop program. He says that to get access to genuine Apple parts (and the ability to pair them to devices), Apple requires that his shop not be able to do certain things like fix a broken angle detection sensor.
It's utter BS, and the lip service companies are paying to right-to-repair bills in state legislatures honestly confuses me given their directly antithetical behavior. Hope strong repair bills get passed and they are fined to hell and back :)
> He says that to get access to genuine Apple parts (and the ability to pair them to devices), Apple requires that his shop not be able to do certain things like fix a broken angle detection sensor.
is this a loaded framing for the proposition that "you can't perform component-level repairs if you're presenting yourself as an apple authorized service center"? because the point of apple authorized service centers is you get the apple authorized service, not someone drilling and reflowing your board to replace components.
it's great that rossman can do this, but he's N=1, and apple can't make their entire network out of rossmans. I think it's pretty obvious why they have to enforce minimum standards and standardized repair protocols in an authorized service program.
this is the "rossman doesn't like any repair solution in which rossman doesn't get paid" thing in action. component-level repair isn't the only kind of repair, it's just the one that results in rossman getting paid the most.
But you do know that apple authorized service center service is often worse because instead of reflowing components they go for stuffing your device with shoe rubber to push chips with defective connections tighter to the pcb? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaGHcBZjmWA
This is complete nonsense, if apple cared about phones being stolen for parts, they would just start selling the damn parts so people could repair their phones. Right now the reason parts are so valulable is because there's no other way to get them! Apple's unrepairability policy FUELS theft not the other way around.
And there’s no way for Apples policy to fuel theft when the stolen phone and parts from that phone can’t be used for anything. You might have had a point a few years ago when they neither sold parts nor did the pairing stuff.
I think they’re moving in the right direction. But like many here have pointed out they should allow you to unpair parts in a phone you own.
There are comments here from people who have been robbed at gunpoint and forced to unlock their phone and disconnect it from iCloud. I think Apple could solve it by making it a 24 hour process that can be reversed. But that just illustrates that it’s actually a hard problem to solve properly.
I don’t care at all about 3rd party parts. I’ve been burned too many times. It’s not environmentally friendly if you buy a brand new shitty part that you end up discarding along with the phone a few months later because the part was bad. Just force Apple to sell good quality genuine parts at a low price. The sum of the parts should equal the price of the phone. Yes that will be unprofitable for Apple, but governments can force it through regulation in the name of sustainability
If they stop selling parts then they should be forced to disable parts pairing for that model… then relying on 3rd party market as a fallback is an fallback
The problem with SSR is that they give you the shit AASPs/Genius Bar gets, which is finished assemblies designed to be swapped out by low-skill workers for minimum wage. This dramatically increases the price of the repair because you're now swapping out a large number of components instead of just one.
Louis Rossmann used to beat Apple on the price of repair specifically by desoldering individual chips and swapping them, which is far cheaper per repair. But it's more expensive to train workers to do this kind of repair, and Apple doesn't like paying for skilled labor in America, so they just make the consumer eat the cost of whole assemblies.
At the same time Apple has also insisted on locking down their supply chains so that you cannot buy factory original components at all. They don't want you to be able to buy the chips that go into their phones, because they're worried you might pull a Strange Parts and cobble together a whole iPhone out of them.
It's oddly convenient how all of these things - the need to stop iPhone chop-shopping, the need to stop product cloning, and the need to have cheap labor costs - all just so happen to result in a really shitty repair experience that makes buying a new one always the best option.
I assumed the reason Apple’s phones are stolen for parts are that, unlike a lot of Android counterparts that can be reset, Find My is so bulletproof that (without phishing) iPhones are essentially expensive paperweights in terms of reselling whole. So people started getting creative and selling the parts, so Apple started to serialise those too.
Either way, I don’t think Apple set out to make the iPhone unrepairable just because. There just weren’t letting repairability getting in the way of the design and aesthetic they want, and I think it’s fine for them to have this opinion. They couldn’t achieve both so they biased towards design, and look to slowly iterate towards repairability compromising as little on design as possible.
I think inventing a new screw would be a design thing? In a perfect world a screw that is easily replaced and allows them the design they want would be used.
However if that doesn’t exist, as an engineer, I am aware of the concept of tradeoffs and ever since that company has existed they’ve always biased towards design.
They would rather 1mm of thinness or an angle a specific shape and if that means that this normally standard screw won’t fit, then “oh well”. Like I said above, it’s an opinion. My FairPhone has the opposite opinion where everything in the design was made around repairability.
Both of them have different, diverse, opinions on what design is. Neither are right or wrong, per se. That’s why the market is so awesome, go to the stall that fits your need, don’t try to make all the stalls make the same thing.
The “security” feature is the serialisation of said screws, no? Even if they were standard and freely available, the serialisation would still cause this issue. Unless it’s somehow not possible to serialise a standard screw but I don’t know how that would differ from the process of doing it to custom screws.
Elon Musk seems to think this way, and every other car manufacturer has let this cancer metastasize in otherwise perfectly fine EV designs because dealers won't sell a car without something to keep people coming back every six months for maintenance.
>> When people stop robbing phones for them to end up in Shenzen and stripped for parts, this will stop.
Once such practice is started it will never stop. If it benefits Apple why would they wver stop it.
Thieves have existed since forever. There are many things which get stolen and don't integrate such protection and people live with that. No tech things like gold bars, gold rings with diamonds. Some people simply look after their stuff. And it is possible to buy insurance, tracking devices, lock boxes and other services to help.
I’ve heard that take many times, but is there any actual data to back this claim? I mean think about it - your average thief is not the kind of person that will know what part setialization is or how to tell iPhone models apart to know which ones to steal. They steal your purse, bag or just anything and sight and only then deal with the loot, discarding what’s useless. I would be very surprised if serializing the battery or screen is putting any significant dent in the number of stolen iPhones worldwide.
Apple has already created a pretty good deterrent to prevent iPhone theft - the Find My iPhone system. It’s better because it’s actually useful to the user and works even if you turn the phone off. The way I see it there’s absolutely no need to serialize the parts as an additional measure to prevent theft (given also what I said in the first paragraph)
I don’t know if there’s data to back this up. I’m simply assuming based on what I know. What I know comes from people I went to school with who have stolen phones before telling me at the pub. There is a price for the type of device you bring in. The ones on the bikes or mugging people actually drop it off to the people who send stuff off to China. Those people give a standard price for the type of phone, he quoted £100 for an iPhone 11 and £120 for a Samsung Galaxy.
He corroborates your point regarding not discriminating the phone he stole, to be fair.
Making the parts useless won't immediately stop theft, sure. It's the same with making catalytic converters hard/impossible to fence. People still steal them, because they're working off an older state of the world. But once you've stolen enough stuff that you couldn't market, you figure out not to steal that anymore. (Although if you're stealing bags, harvesting cash and throwing the bags in the river, phones in the bags are still gone)
Regarding your second point, I agree with the Find My praise, however Find My itself illustrates why every little thing done to make it “more of a ballache” to steal an iPhone, more costly for the thieves, is reducing the demand and these “papercuts” can add up in a sizeable way.
But your point is valid, and I can understand why you hold that opinion.
When this eventually makes it to “basically every iphone out there”, and thieves stop being able to go to the local repair shop to trade in the iphone they stole for a wad of cash, they will stop targeting people with iphones.
I take it you’ve never been to an impoverished area? Holding an iphone paints a massive target on your back.
That is one of the many reasons why use ThinkPads.
* Maintenance Manual with explosion diagrams and step-by-step guides
* Short guide videos for important parts (terse and helpful, very good hidden on Lenovos Website)
* OEM-Parts from Lenovo itself or dealers
Side story. I ordered a X13 Gen 3 (because the new reverse notch is “meh”) AMD (because Intel is “meh”) but the HiDPI was not selectable. So I ordered it without HiDPI, ordered the HiDPI display and cable (yes!) from the repair website and replaced both :)
And the best thing…it was shipped with Linux and it reacted “Oh. Should I turn on scaling?” :)
Probably not was Lenovo intended but in the end both sides are happy.
I get how this is helpful for hobby hardware, but the last time I had a problem with a Lenovo, I sent it to the on-site authorized repair depot (my employer had a special gold plated contract with them), who couldn't replace it because it needed a replacement display cable they didn't stock. They diagnosed it, and sent it to Lenovo, who said it would take 30 days to replace the cable.
I bought a cheap desktop in the meantime, which still works fine, ten years later.
When the laptop came back, Lenovo diagnosed it "no fault found", and didn't replace the faulty cable. Not only was the display still intermittent (due to the bad cable), but their technician removed and then improperly installed the insulator for the backlight's high-voltage transformer, so it was painful and unsafe to touch the laptop if the display was on.
Compare this to Apple, where I drive into any big city, hand them the broken shiny thing, a bag of money containing about 10% its retail price, and it Just Works when they hand it back to me (almost always on the same day).
Maybe Lenovo can repair their own stuff these days? I haven't observed this anywhere I've worked since.
(My evidence that they can't fix their stuff is that there is usually a pile of broken Lenovos in the back of the IT office.)
Lenovo once told me that extreme image persistence on the display was "normal" and there was nothing to repair. You could display some sensitive information on the screen, lock the screen, and still be able to read the previous information on the lock screen around 3 minutes later.
I replaced the battery in an iPhone 5 earlier this year and it's ticking along fine. The longer it stays out of the dump (or a desk drawer) the better. All of the carbon and precious minerals mined to make this device aren't likely to be recycled into new devices: they'll end up on the shores of a country in the Global South along with all of the other tech detritus that we throw away. The resources are spent, the damage done, I want to get as much use out of it as possible.
It's measures like pairing that make me question whether Apple's recycling program is even legit or more corporate green-washing. Has anyone done an independent audit of their process and where materials end up once devices enter the program?
AIUI, these restrictions are primarily intended to curb the market for stolen iphones? I think Apple has taken it too far here, but I also think it is disingenuous to have this discourse without at least mentioning the other considerations. There is no "right" answer, only tradeoffs...
This is stated elsewhere in this thread, but if this is the case then Apple should allow users to unpair their parts and allow them to be reused. Gouging users by forcing them to buy a new part that they already have because their current one is "unverified" despite working perfectly can only be interpreted as greed.
If an actor with that sort of capability has physical access to your device for long enough to replace a part in it with a custom one, you are pwned pretty much no matter what you do at that point. They could just as well stick in a keylogger for touch inputs and know all your passwords.
well, that's why touch id/face id are a secure enclave and have largely replaced passwords.
but philosophically there's no reason the digitizer can't be a secure enclave too, and sign a message authenticating that it's really the digitizer that you think it is. unless you can force it to leak the secret or you can break RSA, it's as secure as any other cryptosystem.
remote attestation does work and I don't really get why people continue to assert that it doesn't. root-of-trust and remote attestation are solved problems, and detecting component swapouts (and other "hostile component" attacks) are one of the primary use-cases for these systems.
Well, yeah. Ownership is responsibility, and the world is shifting towards more convenience, so less responsibility. So we're also going towards less ownership as well, with products being turned into services and leases. And frankly, in a lot of cases, I don't mind it.
One thing I dislike about this decision is, that it conflates the limitations for third parties repairing an iPhone with the ability to repair a device at all. Yes, in an ideal world it would be easy and cheap to repair a device. Good points have been raised in the discussion, why this might be limited by necessity. Like theft-protection and just technical questions of calibration of part.
But from an environmental perspective, it makes a huge difference whether something can be quickly repaired or not. Who can do the repairs is an important question, but it is secondary to the first. I am not happy with iFixit not distinguishing bad repairability and having to go to Apple for a repair.
I find it ok to withdraw like one point for the tie-in to the manufacturer, but the new score puts it on a level with devices which just have to be thrown away.
This is also a disservice to the customer, as while the Apple prices might be quite high, they seem to be related closely to how difficult a certain repair is to do. Improvements there are a benefit to all customers. The new scoring system hides this and actually reduces the pressure onto the manufacturer to improve repairability.
TDLR: "Put Pairing in the Peoples’ Hands" and "Unpair the Future"
Their second point is totally spot on and lost in the food fight. Parts Pairing must be disabled for any discontinued models which have also fallen out of warranty. (Like if I bought the last iPhone 5 and could no longer buy Apple Care for it.)
Further, Apple must provide repair parts. Actual cost for noobs like me and discounted for warranty repair shops (any org who wants to sign up, eg identity and tax id verified.) Excess inventory for discontinued models liquidated to some one's like iFixit.
Counterfeit and grey/black markets are a scourge. I absolutely want parts pairing for any new devices. Doubly so if my threat model included espionage or surveillance.
I don't find the "theft prevention" argument raised by many of the comments here particularly convincing.
If the concern is to prevent the resale of stolen devices or parts, Apple could simply provide users with a way to report the device as stolen (e.g. via iCloud.com), which would put the serial numbers of both the device and its parts into a blacklist. Problem solved.
Instead, the current system effectively assumes that ALL parts coming from a different device must've been "illegally obtained", which is nonsense.
You can do theft prevention without actively making independent repair shops' lives miserable. But Apple's goal is to make independent repair shops' lives miserable; theft is just a pretext. Just look at their track record, from the humble pentalobe screw all the way to the repair program NDAs.
It doesn't "explain" it, he doesn't work for Apple nor know their true intentions. It's entirely his conjecture from the POV of a reverse-engineer. In any case, his conclusion certainly doesn't align with a "less access is better" mentality:
> Advocate for Apple to provide access to their calibration re-provisioning processes instead [...] Them not providing those tools sucks and is anti-repair.
By that rationale, Marcan might actually support iFixit's decision here.
I'm not sure what is his take on iFixit decision, but he does provide some good explanations why some things are the way they are. I don't expect that Apple will officially provide better info, so that is probably the best we have. At least I haven't seen anyone with intimate knowledge of apple hw and sw provide a better or contradicting information.
Isn't that what this is all about, though? The parts talk to each other, so they can't be disassembled and sold off—but since they talk to each other, it makes it harder to get them working after a repair?
This is another dishonest post by Kyle and iFixit. The failure to mention a critical a reason for pairing—theft prevention—is enough to dismiss the entire piece as hopelessly biased.
Just a few years ago, every major news source had an article every other week sounding the alarms about the smartphone theft problem. They would universally blame the phone manufacturers for not doing more.
While they probably should have mentioned it in the article, I don't think that would change the end result. The justification for the pairing doesn't change the fact that it makes the iPhone more difficult to repair.
Now, the increased theft protection may outweigh the hit in repairability for you. People have different priorities, and it's understandable if theft protection is important to you. But iFixit's repairability score doesn't measure theft protection, and they shouldn't grant leniency just because there may be a good excuse.
If the solution to theft is "remotely brick parts that work perfectly," it is a shitty solution that doesn't deserve consideration. Doubly so when Apple's workaround for that is "pay us even more money to double the e-waste by having us send you another perfectly working part, but ~verified~!"
If a post is unambiguously "advocating for violent criminal conduct" that's one thing, but I don't think your interpretation is something most people would call obvious. In fact, one could argue that it's another way in which you broke the site guidelines, which include: "Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith." - https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
It's not actually in your interest to argue aggressively or abusively, because it undermines the point you're trying to make. I know it's frustrating when people don't get the truth of your points and/or repeat false claims, but the proper way to deal with that is to make better arguments and/or communicate more clearly, not to fulminate against the community or throw your weight around.
For example, it sounds like you have a great point in your GP comment: the parts are known to be stolen because the lockout was sent. But this information gets eclipsed by the putdowns, snark, etc., which made up the majority of your post.
Multiple people on this page are relating their experience of being choked into unconsciousness with a knife at your throat, or behind held at knife point and forced to unlock their phones, and OP here is concerned about whether the parts being unusable afterwards will complicate repairs.
Even in the most charitable interpretation OP doesn't care about that but is concerned about false lockout signals, an extreme edge case. Like man screw the people getting knifed over this, right? I might have to call support!
You’ve allowed a noxious, pernicious environment to fester here on HN around this topic. It's normally pretty good but some of these Apple threads are really something else. NVIDIA threads get spicy too but Apple threads bring out all the crazies.
And yes, I do think that's a legitimate strand of thought among Android customers. They don't care if it's stolen, as long as they get cheaper parts and repairs, I've had people say it outright. If you want to counter this in the marketplace of ideas, you kinda have to address the elephant in the room that this is tacitly (or not-so-tacitly) encouraging violent crime. Which sets up this unnecessarily narrow line for one side of the argument - gosh, we can't be too impolite disagreeing with the side advocating violent crime!
"wow, I just want to knife you and steal your phone, but I respect your opinion too, this is a complex issue with a lot of concerns to balance, looks like you have some real growing-up to do!" is exactly the reason HN traffic is not welcomed at some domains. Because of your encouragement of that discourse, and your unwillingness to restrain it when it happens. There are much more serious issues where people's lives are at immediate threat, and you'll find a lot of those places have stopped welcoming HN traffic because they don't want to deal with this... and you override it anyway.
I appreciate the way you put this, dang. You're right that I was misinterpreted: I am advocating for a way to unlock the (perfectly good and fully functional) parts that doesn't involve throwing them away and buying new ones. I'm upset that Apple has gone the route of remote bricking with no recourse but to throw them away, not complaining that Apple is making theft harder. Painting me as a "violent criminal" for that is certainly the least generous interpretation of my post.
As for why this misinterpretation happened, I think the other poster here assumes that parts that throw this error were stolen. TFA states that this is not the case, but that any part swap at all will trigger it, such as moving parts from your old phone with a broken screen to your new phone.
If you wanted to talk about erroneous lockout signals, you could have mentioned literally anything about that topic in your post.
This is your entire comment, italicised portion is the one I quoted, which should have made it pretty clear what part I was responding to.
> If the solution to theft is "remotely brick parts that work perfectly," it is a shitty solution that doesn't deserve consideration. Doubly so when Apple's workaround for that is "pay us even more money to double the e-waste by having us send you another perfectly working part, but ~verified~!"
Which portion of this is discussing erroneous lockout signals, or can be inferred to be referring to such? Specific quotation please. Seems pretty straightforward that "lockout results in usable parts becoming unusable after a theft" which yeah, that's the point!
Regardless though, "I don't care about the people on this page who were choked into unconsciousness at knife-point because of extremely-occasional erroneous lockout signals" (has this ever happened to you or anyone you know?) is not much better than "I don't care about people on this page who were choked into unconsciousness at knife-point because I get cheaper parts and repairs".
And I know it's uncouth to point that out here, but it doesn't change it. Even the way you intended it was callous.
You're just willfully ignoring the consequences of your actions because of extreme edge-cases, and ignoring the actual physical edge-case here. People get mugged every day, how often have any of your devices or anyone you know received an erroneous lock-out signal? For me that answer is zero. Could it happen? Maybe, I guess, not really a real problem that I've ever seen or heard.
Why do you think this is a problem worth putting life at risk over?
This has never worked, because in a single product, a myriad of concerns are bundled together. Just like how people are complex, and you can't simply avoid toxic people. Or you can't just uproot and go live in a better place.
Individuals have much less liberty than the "free market" and "vote with your wallet" sentiments imply.
Well, as long as you would like a pocket computer on which you can use the phone network to make calls, browse the internet, and use navigation, there really isn't many other products, just Android phones. So you choose between Apple and Google, essentially. Now, if someone has a single concern, like this per-part locking down thing, the decision is easy. But if someone has a larger set of concerns, the decision becomes which of them to give up.
Same with voting, really. If you look at the US, you have an imperial shit-ton of political issues, and a ridiculously small pool of just two parties to choose from. Even in countries where there are multiple parties, it's rare that people agree with everything they say and do. But with voting for any of them, they support them anyways.
And so, that's why the arguing about the liberties come into the picture. Because if you buy a product, you essentially support the product and the manufacturer. Maybe you want to support a single thing about them, like how well they protect their cloud, but with that, you also support all the other things they do as well. And you especially can't get away from things which are so pervasive that they are part of the zeitgeist, like the ever-present telemetry that comes with the always-on internet connections.
I mean, I don't and I won't. But fundamentally, the reason I have never bought an iPhone is exactly what the GP said: I want to be able to do whatever I want with a device I own. I'm not willing to give up that freedom for some minor security gains.
This isn't remotely true. IFixit dropped the IPhone repairability score, does that impede you from buy one?
I have the impression only apple fans are reacting negatively to this news. Like I said, apple rather push for security than liberty, be it software or hardware. It's okay, it's a choice, idc about apple products so I'm pretty much neutral on this. I have made the choice for myself, I'd rather have liberty right now, but once I am too old to use that liberty, you can be sure I'll go to Google/Apple/whatever. It's not a dig, it's a real choice.
We should take the security aspect of this more seriously. In a world where hardware manipulation is possible, from ATM skimmers to tampered routers, it's not nothing for only authenticated parts to function.
As always, security has to play against other factors - like eWaste and convenience.
Damn if you do, retroactively damn if you don’t.
IFixit is existentially tied to their antagonism to any official repair policy.
I like their work, but this is bonkers.
Retroactively degrading a rating? How should people even think that their ratings actually mean anything then?
Everyone is debating whether "theft prevention" is the valid argument.
That's like banks blaming you for "identity theft". No, the bank failed to safeguard your identity or validate your transactions.
Similarly here, the valid argument, and target of such changes, is unscrupulous “repair” shops, aka the market makers for these stolen parts.
Whether cars, or phones, after-market repairs are riddled with hazards, and it's not those shops that end up in the news when someone's brakes fail, tire treads separate at speed, or a Samsung or iPhone explodes their face off.
I live in Vietnam, phone theft is relatively prevalent here.
My dad once got tricked into buying an icloud locked phone. I was very sure it was a loss cause, but he tried bringing it to a local repair shop anyway. They removed the lock in a few minutes for something like 100usd.
Apparently at least some of those icloud unlocking ad that I always thought were scams are actually legit. So these locks may not be as effective as Apple may want you to believe.
I tried to recall how many instances of theft vs damage there were in my social circle and the ratio is at least 10:1, with damage being the higher number.
I had one case of spontaneous malfunction, one bricking via repeated high humidity environment and one bonk against bare concrete, which resulted in the screen needing to be replaced so I have to ask: how bad is theft in your corner of the world?
Phones need to be standardized the same way desktop pc where standardized.
Our world is running out of ressources at fast speed and this habit of throwing phones away (iPhones and Android phones or anything else) without real options to fix them is creating a huge pile of waste which are furthermore highly toxic.
According to IEA, demand for oil should peak in 2030, which is a lie, considering India still have (and want) to catch up with Chinese economic devellopement (India GDP: $3.34 Trillons, China GDP: $19.34 Trillons), for the same population.
Demand can't fall in that condition.
But production will...
Peak production for conventional oil happened in 2006, resulting in an all time high of oil price in july or august 2008 at $148. And then output started to fall after a few year of stabilisation of the production.
Shale oil production in the US, oil sands in alberta, took over the increasingly disapearring share of the conventionnal oil.
What will happen in 2030 is that the cumulative production of all sources of oil will decline, inexorably, for 30 to 40 years, until the energetic cost to extract it will be above its energetic value. It would may be then extracted for its value as raw material, at very high monetary cost. Or with the help of another energy source, such nuclear (it seems to me that Saoudi Arabia has asked access to civil nuclear technology), but also at very high monetary cost.
In fact, it's not completelly a lie from IEA, in a sense that demand will be forced to decline... But it's far less worrying to say we will need less bread in the future than say we will not have enough of it...
Throwing things away as we do will appear to us, probably in our own live time, as the must stupid thing mankind has ever done in its 200.000 years of existence.
I’ve never had to repair my iphone (just get a new one every 4yrs) and appreciate that my phone is less profitable to steal, “repairability score” be damned. But I live in a dense city and take public transit, so the trade off is worth it to me. If I wanted something repairable I’d buy a different phone.
The average Apple fanboy's ability to rationalize every single anti-consumer decision made by Apple is impressive. Literally all Apple has to do is say "it's for your own safety!" and they will defend it to the death.
I don’t understand how this is Anti Consumer in any way? I have an iPhone and a FairPhone. One’s niche is that it’s repairable, and the other is that it’s not. A consumer who wants a repairable would buy something like a FairPhone (modular parts!!!) and someone like my mum can get her all-in-one “nice” experience.
They’re allowed to have an opinion, and with engineering there are tradeoffs. They tradeoff design with repairability and have the opinion that it is a good tradeoff. They want to test that opinion with the market and it resonated. What’s wrong with this?
I genuinely am confused as to the anti-consumer moniker when the consumer has never had more choice?
> and someone like my mum can get her all-in-one “nice” experience.
This is a great example of what I had in mind. Apple has successfully convinced you that pairing every part of the phone to the motherboard such that it can never be replaced by anyone other than Apple (usually for a price greater than the phone itself) is somehow essential to the iPhone Experience™ and beneficial to the user.
Why would a consumer like my mum care about opening the phone up?
You still haven’t explained how choosing to tradeoff design over repairability is anti-consumer when the consumer can buy a FairPhone right now (who, I can tell you, have a significantly worse experience and design than my iPhone, but I don’t care because I can tinker with it!)
I think you just don’t like the company and are looking for silly reasons to bash them.
> Why would a consumer like my mum care about opening the phone up?
Because in a few years the phone will be unusable because of the battery. Your mum probably doesn't care about how new and fast it is, it will likely still work fine for her, but she'll likely have to replace the whole phone because of the battery.
She does replace it every couple of years (well, I do anyway) and she loves that fact.
What confuses me about all this is the fact that anyone who wants an easily repairable phone has access to them on the market, as I’ve been saying, I support companies who make this stuff because I like tinkering with hardware.
I think Apple should continue to be a company that biases towards design - trading off repairability if it comes to that. That’s ok because if I don’t like it I can buy a different phone.
My mum just wants a phone with the feature she cares about, and when it gets slow or bad, she rings me up to upgrade.
What else would you call someone who doesn't care about repairability in the slightest because they're just going to buy whatever new version of their favorite brand's product comes out next year for full price regardless of how similar it is, if not a fanboy?
I think it's dishonest to call Apple devices not repairable because Apple offers a lot of repair options. If you want to promote independent repair centers and non-Apple repairs just state that. Otherwise you're just an independent repair fanboy ;)
Most Apple devices are used for years, sold to or given to people requiring the latest since they are not worthless after a short time. I'm not sure what those people you talk about do with their year old iPhones.
Which Apple marketing person invented that "theft" argument?
Apple is pulling the exact same kind of shady bullshit that John Deere did with its tractors - except that in that case, the tech community was up in arms and actually spearheaded a right-to-repair movement.
Meanwhile, when Apple does the same thing, everyone seems to be falling over themselves trying to find an excuse why, well actually, Apple really only has the best interests of its users at heart.
What's going on?
Kudos to iFixit for at least showing some stance, but even their post is weirdly excusing in places:
> While it’s an improvement over the status quo of just a few years ago, when Apple wouldn’t sell parts or supply instructions or software tools to anyone outside the Genius Bar and a few select “authorized” repair outlets, it’s still a major problem. Apple has made some real progress here—and we’ve been reluctant to criticize manufacturers taking meaningful steps. There are good people inside Apple working hard to make this situation better.
Since when can investing a huge amount of resources to build your own DRM scheme and then paddling back a tiny bit when there is too much political pressure be called "taking meaningful steps"?
Would you applaud Microsoft for "taking meaningful steps" after they spent years on hardwiring Edge-only links into the OS, then eventually carved out a tiny exception after EU pressure grew too large?
iFixit is so fantastic. For any of their flaws or shortcomings, they are really trying to grow and improve on a regular basis. They have helped my family save so much stuff from the scrap heap.
These are the types of actions that help the ethos of "REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE".
But it comes at the cost of capitalism and pure profit making. There's going to have to be a hard reckoning sometime soon that we can't keep just throwing stuff away (and paying again and again), just so the stock market keeps moving up.
Seriously. I've never lived anywhere where crime is even close to as commonplace as people are saying it is where they live. I can't envision what would be good enough incentive to continue to live in such a place, either.
Computing is something I've loved ever since I was first introduced to it, something I love, something that I always dreamed would empower every person to be connected to everyone else and have a better life, to help society become a fairer place.
When I first hand-etched my own PCB to attach LEDs to my Commodore 64, controlled by software that I'd written, it was amazing.
When I first used a 300 baud modem to connect to a BBS and communicate with people far away, it was like a whole world had opened up. The opportunities were endless.
Now Apple with their subscriptions, artificially crippled devices so they can force the cloud upon people and monetize personal data. Artificially unrepairable devices. Removing ports to sell dongles and wireless chargers. Removing features all the time. Creating devices that are not interoperable with other devices, because that makes their victims ever more locked in and unable to resist next year's even more efficient milking machine.
So much unnecessary bullshit, and more and more every year.
In the old days computers would improve each year. They wouldn't remove stuff. This years device was like last years, but with added features. If you were thinking about upgrading, you didn't have to make a spreadsheet for yourself with what you're gaining this year and what you're losing, and how much the monthly subscription will be. Buying new tech was an easy decision.
Nobody would have tolerated any of this in the 1990's or 2000's, so why now? Why are people so resigned to not truly owning anything? How can they seriously claim that any of this is actually good?
Apple championed non-replaceable batteries, no headphone sockets, locked bootloaders, had to be forced to use USBC. Now they're championing remote hardware pairing. Every time there's the barest of paper-thin reason for it, always more lock-in, and of course no way for the consumer to opt-out of such bullshit.
Just the worst most consumer-hostile company.
But every time they come up with the latest new consumer-hostile bullshit, for some reason so many cult-of-Apple zombies come out of the woodwork, to parrot the flimsiest of pretext for why it's actually a good thing and why they're happy they're getting milked even more this time, and everyone who doesn't want to be milked is actually in the wrong or just cheap or poor or something.
They wear their special Apple release day dunce cap and line up at midnight at the Apple store to be milked for the latest phone that's half a step forward and half a step back, with an iCloud subscription tacked on.
It's so infuriating.
But the most infuriating part is that other companies invariably follow suit once the dust has settled and the latest anti-consumer behavior has been normalized, because every step is more and more lucrative, and a far easier path to profit-creating than real innovation.
Line must go up, and they're all out of ideas, so why not create subscriptions where none existed before and stop repairs so people have to buy new phones? The zombies won't care because they're just dying to put their special release-day dunce cap on again. This one has magnesium!
Somehow USBC is revolutionary because people can now save videos to external storage. What? My Galaxy Note from 2012 had microSD.
Soon will come the subscription-based hardware with remote hardware disabling. A subscription for access to particular phone features. Mark my words.
I hate Apple customers for their ignorance and shortsightedness in enabling Apple in their quest to ruin computing. It would be fine if they were just ruining it for themselves, but they're not. The trickle-down from Apple is ruining the whole industry.
Of course, I'm not excusing the other companies for jumping on the enshittified bandwagon, but Apple is the only company with zombies who will accept whatever latest bullshit they can dream up, without ever dreaming of switching sides.
I hate Apple for what they're doing to the computing landscape, and I don't care if their M2 is better on power per watt or whatever. I'd plug in and use a device I actually own.
I wish Apple would just concentrate on creating the best product they can make. Even if it had the bullshit but you could opt-out.
No bullshit and just the best product. I would buy five.
That's why Apple gives the consumer an authorization code that they can use when re-selling their phone, to unlock its parts and permit their re-use. Since thieves don't get that code, it protects phones against theft and allows re-use.
Because if they didn't do that, anti-theft would be just a useful excuse to further rob the consumer of agency.
They do give out such a code, right? I'm just assuming here, but since they paint themselves as such champions of ecology , they must. Because if they didn't, that would make them hypocrites, and liars, in claiming there is no way to deter theft without taking rights from the consumer. And we know Apple is honest and on the consumer's side, so that can't be it.
My old company had a big problems with leavers dropping off the iPhone without giving either their passcode or unpairing the device from whatever iCloud account they used, so they couldn't even give it to anybody else. Full shelf full of 1000€ bricks all working fine. (Apple didn't have a proper device management service back then)
If you don't care about independent repairability, which is the only thing this score addresses, then just don't look at this website. The decision doesn't affect you or Apple in any way, it's just advice for people looking for a particular feature.
If parts weren't so unnecessarily difficult to get in the first part, stealing phones for parts wouldn't be a thing. Apple created this problem, they don't get to get credit for "fixing" it in a way that harms consumers.
Stealing phones for parts is only a “thing” because any U.S. carrier would still block a stolen IMEI. If you steal a car, for example, you can use it to for its primary purpose which is to drive. If you steal a phone, you can only sell it for parts.
if you could re-use a phone, people would just factory reset the phone after stealing it, and people did it. then apple locked that down. then people started stripping the phone for parts instead, and apple started serializing parts. Etc.
Which things other than phones are primarily stolen specifically to be parted out (and...to be perfectly honest I'm not sure I buy that it's even that big a thing in phones)? And which companies have made the problem worse by artificially restricting part supplies?
Cars being stolen to chop shops is a thing, I am extremely skeptical that it's the primary reason cars are stolen.\
-edit- Yeah even according to your source, a pretty tiny minority appear to be stolen for parts. Probably because, as you point out, parts are so easy and relatively cheap to get, except for inherently valuable parts like catalytic converters. And guess what? If people start stealing iPhones to harvest the gold/rare metals, parts pairing is not going to fix that.
If you were taking about theft in general, then I don't even know what point you were trying to make.
And yes, other companies selling fewer official parts (although I've never been unable to get screens, batteries, or replacement charging parts for my non-apple phones) is bad, and I already criticize companies that fail to make parts available. When they start doing part pairing, I will criticize them for it to. The fact that this behavior is bad has nothing to do with it being Apple. Not making parts easy to get: bad. Making replacement parts not viable without input from manufacturer: also bad.