Is Apple (and others) repairing defective hardware?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by winmacuser, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. winmacuser macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    With all the new super-thin mobile devices, Macbook Airs, etc. where everything is soldered together and nearly nothing is user-replaceable anymore, I have the following question:

    Is Apple actually repairing defective hardware or just replacing it?
    Let's say there is a malfunction on your Retina Macbook Pro's RAM. Or chip XYZ on your Macbook Air is not working. Or the iMac's GPU is dead.
    You bring your iDevice to the store. But what is happening? Do they really repair the stuff, i.e. replacing single chips or other eletronic parts? Or do they just throw away the whole thing, since miniaturization makes it impossible to repair stuff? The logic board of the Macbook Airs for instance is so small, I cannot believe it is possible to repair things by human hands ..

    Being unable to upgrade/repair your new generation iDevice is one problem. But what about the environment?
  2. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I don't think any company out to make money gives two s**ts about the environment.
  3. VenusianSky macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2008
    Not really. That is why they send all the excess electronics garbage to China where the Chinese pay to scrap it for precious metals and then pile the waste into dump sites for it to contaminate some of the local water.

    I've donated old computer parts, but I have a feeling that much of it is ending up in China.

    Anyways, I watched some piece about this on one of those prime time investigative shows (Dateline, 20/20, 60 Minutes, I don't remember). Not saying that any big computer companies were directly involved or even part of the investigation
  4. winmacuser thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    Well, that didn't answer my question. I am pretty aware of the fact, that e-waste is going to be "taken care of" in poor countries.

    The question was if - in general - hardware, especially that new kind of super-miniature/mobile/superthin, is REPAIRED or REPLACED. If you send your iMac to Apple for repairing a faulty chip on the logicboard, are they trying to fix it or just swap it for a new board?
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I believe with an Air they just swap the SSD card into a replacement machine. It wouldn't surprise me if it's similar with an iMac. In any case they certainly wouldn't fix individual chips but at a minimum would replace the whole logic board.
  6. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    They've never really repaired individual chips. They replace whole logic boards, it's just that computers are more and more just 1 big board rather than a few interconnecting smaller ones.
  7. G-Mo macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2010
    Auckland, NZ
    In store (Apple or AASP), no component level repairs are done, it's a whole unit replacement (top case, display assembly, logic board, etc...). In the case of the Retina or Air you mention above, both would have their logic board replaced with a likely refurbished part. The KBB is returned to Apple where it repaired and/or broken down for use in other repairs to create more refurbished replacement parts.

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