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Watch how the most expensive iPhone 12 Pro Max repair gets done thrice cheaper

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With the recent unequivocal Right to Repair Act support from the Federal Trade Commission in full swing, third-party repair shops are getting a shot in the arm, knowing that they can repair not only cracked screens and swap parts, but have full access to repair manuals and original parts, or engage in more creative fixes, too.

Otherwise they could file a complaint to the FTC which is only searching for reasons to make an example of someone. One such creative fix is swapping just the cracked back of iPhones which are now huge slabs of glass.

This is actually the most expensive repair that Apple offers, as it swaps the whole housing for a cracked back glass, and for the iPhone 12 Pro Max a broken rear glass replacement will run you a cool six Benjamins, whereas the screen replacement is "just" $329.


Enter third-party repair companies like the one you see in the video above which offer the same service - a cracked iPhone back replacement - but for much, much less. How? Well, instead of being part-swappers, as the Apple shops and Best Buy locations are, they actually put their back in it, pun intended. 

Here's the scoop directly from the repair shop owner: "during the second laser run, right here, you'll see we're vaporizing the residual glue left over after removing the glass. Once the second laser round is done, we'll take it back over to our workstation and we'll brush off the rest of that glue. [brushing] I use a metal brush that gets in and scrubs that adhesive right off of there. You have to have a surgeon's precision, because if you go in and get those metal brush teeth into a gap, you could damage a component."



As you can see, instead of swapping the whole housing with the frame, reattaching all the components back and then restoring the water-resistance rating with an abundance of glue, the repair tries to only swap what's broken, the actual glass. 

It is not an easy task, as it involves laser cutting, a lot of precision cleaning and reattaching but then the iPhone is back as new without actually having to pry it open for a simple back crack:


That's a lot of steps but even then the final price comes down to $200, or three times less what Apple is charging to swap the shattered back of your iPhone 12 Pro Max by changing the whole housing instead of scraping off the back only, and slapping on a shiny new piece of glass. 

Moral of the story - don't drop your iPhone without a case as it will cost you either way, but if you do, go the independent repair shop route unless it's a simple screen replacement - those are cheaper at Apple.

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