Apple Tells Congress It Hasn't Been Profiting From Repairs in Response to Antitrust Probe

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As part of an antitrust probe, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Apple in September with questions about its policies for the App Store, product repairs, and more. Apple has since responded, and while many of the responses are predictable, the letter reveals a few noteworthy details.


For example, when asked to identify the total revenue that it has derived from repair services since 2009, Apple said "the costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs" in each year over that period.

Apple also said it has invested "billions of dollars" in Apple Maps since the app was released in 2012. Apple is currently in the process of revamping its Maps app with much more detailed mapping data, with the improvements now available in 27 states fully and another six states partially.

Apple defends many of its policies throughout the letter. For example, Apple says third-party web browsers on iOS devices must use its WebKit framework due to user privacy and security considerations. Apple gives a similar explanation for why third-party apps cannot be set as default on iOS devices.

The full letter can be read here.

Article Link: Apple Tells Congress It Hasn't Been Profiting From Repairs in Response to Antitrust Probe
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,514
7,166
Maybe if you include in-warranty repairs, like all the Butterfly keyboard top case replacements that have happened since 2016. The problem is that the cost of some of the out-of-warranty repairs is absurd.

$169 for a new screen on an iPhone 6s Plus, the entire device is worth barely $200 on the used market. Some people will choose to buy a new iPhone at that point, and this is a way Apple indirectly profits from high repair costs that can't be easily measured.
 
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BGPL

macrumors regular
May 4, 2016
221
472
California
This is more than a little hard to believe, with their cost of fixing a display. And third party "fixit" stores are selling displays and doing the repairs for cheaper, and still making money - and they don't have access to Apple's supply lines. It doesn't make any sense, I'm calling rubbish.
 

dmylrea

macrumors 68030
Sep 27, 2005
2,752
3,233
This is more than a little hard to believe, with their cost of fixing a display. And third party "fixit" stores are selling displays and doing the repairs for cheaper, and still making money - and they don't have access to Apple's supply lines. It doesn't make any sense, I'm calling rubbish.
I tried a "fixit store" once. Worst experience ever. Not only did they put the wrong parts on, but they gave us someone else's iPhone when we picked it up. Then, had the gall to charge us more than they quoted.

You get what you pay for.
 

xizdun

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2011
171
115
Lies, Apple! The same way Apple did not benefit from throttling iPhone batteries? What utter lies, Apple. Shame on you, Tim Cook.

Does Apple not profit from selling AppleCare+ insurance by selling poorly protected hardware? Which other tech company sells its own-brand insurance alongside its hardware [as prominently as Apple]?

Apple benefits from making hardware more difficult to repair and easy to damage (with dust and spills). Customers opt to purchase new hardware instead of repairing their existing Apple hardware.

My wife spilled water onto the keyboard of her MacBook Air a couple months ago, and the MBA turned off within seconds. While researching the issue online, I discovered Louis Rossmann on YouTube and follow him closely now. I took the device to Rossmann based on his transparency.

He makes no secret of his hate for Apple and how difficult, and sometimes impossible, Apple has made it for independent repair/service providers to fix Apple hardware, namely MacBooks.

Watch and learn: How Apple is shaping the future of repair.

 
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Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,526
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As someone who has worked as a Genius - I call BS.

Sorry, but charging more than the cost price of an iPhone to repair a minor fault, which they then repair and send back out - is profit making.

Also - the prices of some of the service parts are atrocious. We used to charge like £350 for a failed iMac HDD.

Effectively what they do is charge far more than (new) retail for refurb parts, and only warranty them for 90 days. labour costs are minimal considering most geniuses make < £10/hour.
 

recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
2,560
2,132
Do they count free repair? I think so, and those are at loss. Sometimes you go to the AS for a repair and go home with a "new" device at no charge. Repairs out of warranty are expensive and I'm sure they have some profit, but most of the repairs are free. They earn money with AppleCare so that's part of the equation, but many people don't buy it and have a free repair during the first year.
 

mudflap

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2007
382
762
Chicago
Like I'm going to believe Apple is going to do something at a loss :rolleyes:
They already are. The Apple TV and HomePod are both selling at cost or below. Not now with discounts but when they were introduced. You can't squeeze all that incredibly high tech in a HomePod and sell it for $349. It was a steal at that price, sound-wise. Now that you find them for $100 off occasionally, it's almost theft.
 

Pangalactic

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2016
391
662
In recent news, Apple has decided to sue Congress for moral damages and besmirched reputation.

"Saying that we are profiting from repairs is an insult to all that Apple stands for. We are not just profiting, we are rolling in cash. Any statement suggesting that we are making less than obscene amounts of money is a grave insult to Apple and we will not stand for it" commented the Apple representative.
 

timber

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
541
670
Lisbon
Apple said "the costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs" in each year over that period
I wonder if that includes giving away batteries almost for free
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,856
11,277
New England
My main issue is with the App Store, and how Apple can unilaterally decide what isn't allowed, how apps should transact, and what functions are allowed. They make these decisions in a black box, with no way to appeal or reverse a decision.

Essentially, we (society) are letting the role consumer protection to become privatized to Apple and Google. Is anyone happy with that?
 
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jicon

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2004
398
166
Toronto, ON
It pains me to compare a 2008 Macbook to a 2019 Macbook. Inability to alter HDD, RAM, battery after sale. Motherboard repair is a near impossibility. Keyboard problem? Ha. For laptops with the best trackpad in the business, it pains me to recommend keeping away from Macs until at the very least, repair ability improves.

Some of the repair cost gouging caught by CBC recently at Apple Stores was laughable... but if I can't go to another repair shop to fix a machine, and that overpriced repair MUST go through Apple, that laugh turns in to a tear. It isn't right.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
5,554
4,819
My main issue is with the App Store, and how Apple can unilaterally decide what isn't allowed, how apps should transact, and what functions are allowed. They make these decisions in a black box, with no way to appeal or reverse a decision.

Essentially, we (society) are letting the role consumer protection to become privatized to Apple and Google. Is anyone happy with that?
Can I play an Xbox game on my PlayStation?
 

Jim Lahey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2014
714
1,197
Sunnyvale
Maybe if you include in-warranty repairs, like all the Butterfly keyboard top case replacements that have happened since 2016. The problem is that the cost of some of the out-of-warranty repairs is absurd.

$169 for a new screen on an iPhone 6s Plus, the entire device is worth barely $200 on the used market. Some people will choose to buy a new iPhone at that point, and this is a way Apple indirectly profits from high repair costs that can't be easily measured.
And yet there I was at the Genius Bar, facing an out-of-warranty £800 screen replacement on a MacBook Pro, and Apple decided to repair it at their cost as a goodwill gesture. And no, it wasn't any kind of recall or commonly known issue. Just an unexpected random failure.

Everyone has an anecdote, of course, but mine certainly doesn't fit into the "Apple rip everyone off for profit" narrative 😎
 

panjandrum

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2009
319
375
United States
In recent news, Apple has decided to sue Congress for moral damages and besmirched reputation.

"Saying that we are profiting from repairs is an insult to all that Apple stands for. We are not just profiting, we are rolling in cash. Any statement suggesting that we are making less than obscene amounts of money is a grave insult to Apple and we will not stand for it" commented the Apple representative.
😂😂😂

Yeah, sounds like someone at Apple's been drinking too many gargle blasters. At the price Apple charges for most of their out-of-warranty repairs there is absolutely no way they could be losing money. Now, as someone mentioned, it could be that cost of their repair-extension programs are so great that they are eating all of that profit. That would be a very sad thing if true, and regardless Apple certainly shouldn't be subsidizing their poor design decisions by over-charging customers who actually have to pay for repairs. Sure, it's one thing to pay more for something that is legitimately higher quality, but that's just not the case most of the time with Apple's equipment. Replacing the HDD or the HDD portion of a fusion drive, for example. All that's going into that system if you have Apple repair it is another perfectly standard and prone-to-failure HDD. You are paying through the nose for a completely standard, unreliable, part. (BTW, Don't ever have Apple replace any of the storage in an iMac. Have a good local shop do it and replace the drive(s) with modern, large and inexpensive SSDs. You'll probably pay less and you'll get a much better piece of equipment in return.) And I'm sure that idiotic butterfly keyboard is going to cost them a bundle in the long-run. Every single moron at the company that worked on, or approved that monstrosity should be outta-there. It takes about 30 seconds of using one to know that it's a piece of crap, and everyone who designed it approved it is incompetent. Personally, I think Apple should just replace every single laptop sold with those things with a newer model, or figure out how to retrofit them with the "brand-new" keyboard in their 16" model!
 
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