Raspberry Pi, Chains and Sprockets, and Sliding Into Tim Cook’s Emails — Repair Radio Episode 13

On this episode of Repair Radio, we talked about Apple’s new iPhones, how to turn chains and sprockets into unlikely weapons, and Congress wants to slide into Tim Cook’s emails. Plus, we answered some of your burning questions.

How to Listen

Hosts: Craig Lloyd, Kevin Purdy, and Whitson Gordon
Music: Gypsy (@ArchaicsHipHop)

News Topics

  • What to Do If Your iPhone’s Home Button Stops Working: Apple officially did away with the home button on iPhones last year when all of their new iPhones came equipped with Face ID and an edge-to-edge screen. The company still sells the home-button-laden iPhone 8, however, and there are millions of older iPhones still in commission around the world. If you’re one of those millions, here’s what you can do if the button stops working.
  • Congress Is Investigating Apple’s Stranglehold on Repair, and They Want Tim Cook’s Emails: In an effort to investigate anticompetitive behavior among tech companies, the House Judiciary Committee has requested emails and other communications from executives at Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Alphabet (owner of Google)—and some of them are very, very interesting to us.
  • Fairphone 3 Teardown: “All good things come in threes” is what the Dutch social enterprise must have thought when they were planning the Fairphone 3, their newest ethically-made mobile device, sporting a modular and repairable design. The Fairphone 2 from 2015 already set the bar high for smartphone repairability—only a teardown will tell if its successor can raise that bar further, as other big manufacturers continue to offer phones that are glued shut and increasingly hard to repair.

Listener Questions

T0p_deck asks: “Doesn’t fixing your phone void your warranty?”

Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, manufacturers can’t void your warranty just because you repaired the device yourself at one point. The only way they can void your warranty is if they can somehow prove that your DIY repair was the cause of damage to your device. That said, getting warranty service may still be difficult…but tell them what they’re doing is illegal, and maybe you’ll get lucky. We’re working hard to bring this issue to light.

Ethancooper0704 asks: “Does the iPhone 11 Pro have reverse wireless charging for the Apple Watch and AirPods?”

It’s not a feature that Apple announced, but rumors say that the technology is at least present inside of the phone. We’ll have to wait until we can tear it down to know for sure.

Zaksltan asks: “Have you guys ever broken any devices while trying to make a repair guide?”

It’s not uncommon for teardowns, since it’s our first dive into opening up a device and we may have no idea how to take it apart for the first time. Not too common for repair guides, but accidents do happen every now and then.

Armin.s18 asks: “Will there be Fix Kits for the iPhone 11?”

Eventually? Yes. It takes us a while to source parts for newly-released devices, but to give you an idea: we started offering Fix Kits for the iPhone XS just last month—roughly 11 months after the phone’s release. However, we had individual parts available for some time before then.

Have a Question You Want Answered on Repair Radio?

You can email your repair questions to repairradio@ifixit.com, or tag us on Twitter and include the hashtag #RepairRadio in your tweet. Your question can be anything repair-related, whether it’s how to fix something, tools you should buy, maintenance advice, or anything in between. We’ll pick some of our favorite questions and answer them on the podcast! And if you have general feedback about the podcast, we’d love to hear that as well!

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