One of the biggest complaint about gadgets from Apple is that they offer very limited choice for the end user to upgrade or replace components.
For instance, the new Aluminium Macbook Pros do not come with a user replaceable battery. Apple says that this aspect is usually a side-effect of its slim and sleek designs that are optimized to use every small space inside the gadget most effectively. While the official reasoning may make sense, it leaves the user with an expensive option of visiting an Apple service centre even for minor hardware changes.
If you have an Apple gadget like a Macbook, an iPhone or an iPod that requires repair but there’s no Apple Service center in town, you should check out iFixit - it’s a useful website that offers step by step visual guides for simple things like replacing RAM on your Macbook (which Apple itself reckons can be done by users without voiding warranty) to complicated stuff like replacing the LCD screen of your iPod or Macbook. You are limited only by the dare devil inside you.
Finding instructions for replacing a particular hardware component is very easy. Once you select whether you want to repair/upgrade your Mac, iPod or iPhone, you need to choose the precise model of your hardware.
Once you have identified the hardware, you can then browse through various repair and upgrade guides for that product. iFixit guides contain easy, unambiguous, step-by-step instructions to carry out your repair/upgrade. Each step is accompanied by a high resolution photograph so that you precisely know what you are doing.
Here are some sample PDF guides available for download on iFixit. All content on iFixit is available under Creative Commons so you are free to republish the material with attribution but for non-commercial purpose only.
- Repair a cracked iPod screen
- Replace the camera of an iPhone
- Replace the hard drive of a Macbook
- Replace the audio cable in Macbook Air
- Replace the headphone jack of your iPhone
- Install a new battery in your iPhone
- Replace the broken screen of Macbook Air
iFixit makes money by selling parts or components to users. They ship these Apple components to about 40 countries including India. That could be a boon to Apple users in countries like India where Apple services are relatively very expensive but yes, you need to proceed with extreme care.
Narasimha Shastri is a technology enthusiast and social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Praja.in, a citizen collaboration platform for civic issues.