How will coronavirus affect iPhone repairs

Credit: Supplied

If your iPhone breaks sometime over the next few months, coronavirus could make repairing it a little bit trickier than usual. 

Apple stores are closed

As of mid-March, Apple’s retail outlets are officially closed until further notice. If you have a problem with your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, you can still rely on or call up Apple’s support line: 800-275-2273. However, you can’t just walk up to a Genius bar and rely on their in-house expertise to get a problem fixed on the spot.

What about third party repair shops?

Depending on how severe the shutdown of non-essential services in your states gets, it might still be possible to go and get your device repaired through an Authorized Apple Repair company or other third-party repair shops. 

However, in addition to the usual risks, reports say that these vendors are feeling the pain of the coronavirus outbreak in a different way. 

Credit: Supplied

With Chinese factories closed down, the supply of critical components used to repair damaged iPhones and the like is becoming more limited. Most tech repair places keep limited stocks on-site and order everything else as needed. However, with Apple Stores closed, it’s possible that demand for their services will increase and they’ll run out of locally available components sooner rather than later. And that's assuming the best-case scenario where these businesses stay open at all during the pandemic at all.

What can you do if your iPhone or Macbook breaks while in self-quarantine?

This one’s a bit tricky. Although Apple Stores are closed, you can still mail it directly to one of Apple’s own Repair Centers. Previously, this process was mostly utilised by Apple customers who didn't live near an Apple Store. However, there's nothing stopping any Apple customer from filing a repair request here. You'll need to do that first, since that's how Apple distribute shipping labels and boxes used for returns. 

Of course, if you’re in self-quarantine, you mustn't leave your home for any reason short of needing urgent medical attention. If you can’t wait until your fourteen days of isolation are up and have a trusted friend willing to ferry your damaged device to a post box or repair service, that’s a potential workaround. Just be sure to thoroughly clean your device first and leave it outside your house, so as to minimize their risk of contamination. 

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Fergus Halliday
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