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Under pressure, Apple allows self-repairs to iPhones, Macs – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Matt O’brien, The Associated Press


Published Wednesday, November 17, 2021 3:45PM EST


Last Updated Wednesday, November 17, 2021 7:04PM EST

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple is letting some iPhone users fix their own phones, a sharp turnaround for a company that has long prohibited anyone but company-approved technicians from fiddling with its proprietary parts and software.

The company said Wednesday that it will enable users of two of the newest iPhone models and eventually some Mac computers to get access to genuine Apple parts and tools for consumer repairs.

The shift reflects a strengthening “right to repair” movement embraced by President Joe Biden and affecting everything from smartphones to cars and tractors. It’s a reaction to the infusion of software into more everyday products and the practices of manufacturers who have increasingly made those products difficult and expensive to repair.

Apple is launching an online store for self-service repairs early next year that it says will have more than 200 individual parts and tools for making the most common repairs on the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. It will initially be focused on do-it-yourself fixes to screens, batteries and displays, which Apple previously resisted and cited concerns about security and safety, such as faulty battery replacements that can damage a device.

Apple’s action is welcome news for consumers and a sign that similar standards should apply to other electronics, said Maureen Mahoney, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports.

“If you buy a product, you should be able to fix it,” she said. Otherwise “consumers have to either rely on the manufacturers’ authorized repairer or they have to buy a new one.”

The Federal Trade Commission, the Biden administration and state legislatures have been eyeing regulatory changes that would make it easier for Americans to repair their broken devices.

Regulators have expressed concerns about restrictions that steer consumers into manufacturers’ and sellers’ repair networks, adding costs to consumers and shutting out independent repair shops from business opportunities. They’ve also said those repair restrictions often fall heavily on minority and low-income consumers. An FTC report to Congress in May noted that many Black-owned small businesses make equipment repairs, and repair shops often are owned by entrepreneurs from poor communities.

Apple has long been a target for right-to-repair advocates because of its practice of locking down its software so that parts are encoded to a specific device. Some attempted repairs – such as replacing a broken original screen with one made by a third party – have left phones unusable.

There are limits to the changes that Apple is making but it’s still “a big milestone,” said Nathan Proctor, senior director for the Right to Repair campaign at U.S. PIRG, a consumer advocacy group.

“One of the most visible right-to-repair opponents is reversing course in a meaningful way,” he said.

Proctor said that’s thanks to growing pressure, including from some of Apple’s own investors. A shareholder proposal from an environmentally minded investment group calls for the company to cease its anti-repair practices, arguing that they are contributing to electronic waste.

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Apple iPhone SE 3 on track for March 2022, claims report – Pocket-lint.com

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(Pocket-lint) – The much-rumoured 3rd-gen iPhone SE will reportedly release in the first quarter of 2022 – most likely March.

That’s the opinion of TrendForce, a market research firm in Taiwan, which believes that Apple is keen to get a firmer grip on the “mid-range 5G smartphone” market.

“Apple is staying with the plan to release its 3rd-generation iPhone SE in 1Q22 and four models under a new series in 2H22,” it wrote in its latest report on smartphone production growth.

“The 3rd-generation iPhone SE is expected to be a major instrument in helping Apple establish a presence in the market segment for mid-range 5G smartphones.”

The last iPhone SE was released in April 2020 and is still available today. However, it is now somewhat an oddity in Apple’s line-up, being the only device with older design and a front-facing Touch ID button.

That might not change, as a rumour in October suggested the button could remain. The 4.7-inch Retina HD display was also said to be returning, although a beefier A15 Bionic chip could power the new device.

Another big change will be the addition of 5G, which will make it more attractive as networks rollout 5G coverage more widely. We’ll undoubtedly find out more as spring approaches.



Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 1 December 2021.

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Xiaomi 12 series is also "coming soon" with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip introduced at Qualcomm’s ongoing Snapdragon Tech Summit will power several flagship Android devices next year. Realme has already confirmed that its GT 2 Pro will have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip at the helm, and now Xiaomi’s Founder and CEO, Mr. Lei Jun, has also confirmed the use of Qualcomm’s freshly announced flagship chip on the Xiaomi 12.

Mr. Jun didn’t divulge anything about the Xiaomi 12 but said that the Xiaomi 12 series “will be the world’s first smartphones” to have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC under the hood.

The CEO didn’t reveal the Xiaomi 12 series’ launch date either, but rumor has it that the smartphone will debut on December 12. And while we are yet to get any confirmation on that, the company’s official Twitter handle posted a short video clip, saying the Xiaomi 12’s mass production has kicked off and it’s “coming soon.”

While Mr. Jun says that the Xiaomi 12 series will be the world’s first to be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, that may not be the case since Motorola has announced a December 9 event to unveil the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Edge X30, unless Xiaomi is already geared up to introduce the Xiaomi 12 before next Thursday.

OnePlus, Oppo, and iQOO have also confirmed to launch Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered smartphones without getting into the details. nubia said it will use the new flagship chip on its Z series, while ZTE announced it will launch an Axon series smartphone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 next year.

You can read our Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 announcement coverage here to learn more about it.

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Realme GT 2 Pro will be among the first smartphones to use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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Now that Qualcomm has finally made its next-generation flagship chipset official at its event in Hawaii, Realme has something to say too – and that is that the GT 2 Pro will be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

It’s hard to imagine a less surprising announcement, but there you have it – it’s official now. Don’t forget, the upcoming GT 2 Pro is going to be Realme’s “first-ever ultra-premium flagship”, rising above the likes of the X50 Pro and previous members in the GT family.

Realme proudly boasts that it will be among the first manufacturers to launch a smartphone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform, an that phone will be the GT 2 Pro. Development of the device has started a few months ago, and this will end up being a “truly high-end flagship product that will exceed the expectations of young users around the world”, according to Realme VP Chase Xu.

The Realme GT 2 Pro with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 at the helm was in fact already spotted at AnTuTu scoring over a million points a few days ago. The phone is expected to have 125W wired charging support, up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage, a 6.51″ 120 Hz AMOLED screen, a 32 MP selfie camera, and a 50 MP main rear sensor with OIS.

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