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Repairing Damaged IPhones—With No Help From Apple

Repair shops threaten Apple’s planned obsolescence strategy
Repairing Damaged IPhones???With No Help From Apple
Photograph by 731

Apple executives expend a lot of brainpower worrying about Samsung and other Android smartphone rivals. They probably should be thinking about Justin Wetherill, too. The 26-year-old smartphone doctor and others like him have built a $1 billion business in repairing and refurbishing iPhones and other mobile phones for customers looking for a less expensive alternative to upgrading.

Apple is expected to introduce its newest smartphone on Sept. 10, raising the question of whether consumers will rush out to get the latest iPhone even though older versions work just fine. The sixth-generation iPhone is rumored to have a fingerprint sensor mounted in the home button of the phone to make it more secure for payments, an improved camera, and other design refinements.