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Consumer Reports: Repairing your broken phone

Posted at 10:56 AM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 11:56:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — Have you bought a new smartphone recently? If so, you know they can cost more than $1,000... meaning if you drop or break your phone, it's going to be pretty expensive to replace it.

With new phones being so expensive, if you break your current phone, you might consider trying to fix it. But, good luck with that.

Most people with a broken phone don’t even try repairing it. But why? As it turns out, doing the repairs yourself can be harder than you may think.

"When we surveyed people about this a few months ago a lot of people said they don’t fix their smartphones when they break because it’s too expensive to do it. And a lot of other people said it’s too inconvenient," said Kaveh Waddell, Consumer Reports tech editor.

Replacement parts can also be hard to find and instructions for fixing phones are scarce. Plus, newer phones are made with glued-in batteries and special screws that can’t easily be removed. You may think you’ll void the warranty if you repair the phone yourself or at an independent shop, but that’s not true.

Now some states and Congress are taking notice of these unfriendly consumer practices.

"Lawmakers in a number of states and Congress are considering bills that would make it easier to repair your own things, including your smartphone," Waddell said.

For the first time, Apple says it will make some parts and repair manuals available to consumers and repair shops. Microsoft has reportedly said it would work to make some of its devices easier to fix. Both—a win for the environment and for consumers.