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iFixit, the internet’s most popular repository of guides for repairing Apple devices, has announced that it’s cutting prices for all of its iPhone battery replacement kits down to $29 or less. They usually sell for between $39 to $49, depending on how recent your phone is.
The news comes after Apple announced yesterday that it would be cutting the price of its own battery replacements to $29 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, starting in late January and running through December 2018 (a $50 discount off the usual price). The decision came in response to the uproar over Apple slowing down devices with aging batteries to try to preserve performance.
iFixit’s offer outdoes Apple’s in a few ways, offering kits for phones as old as the iPhone 4S and at cheaper prices. Only iFixit’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus kits cost $29, with most of other older models going for $24.99 — a price that includes a new battery and all the tools you’ll need to pry open your phone and replace it.
That’s of course the major downside here: Apple’s price includes professional installation, whereas if you fry your phone installing the battery yourself, you’re pretty much on your own.
It’s certainly nice that iFixit is looking to making replacing batteries cheaper for iPhone owners — the company cites its usual arguments about the importance of letting consumers do repairs on their own devices and Apple’s ongoing fight against Right to Repair legislation as part of the reasoning here, too.
But it’s also hard not to look at this decision as one that just makes good business sense for the repair company, seeing as it’d be almost impossible for iFixit to sell a DIY battery replacement kit for more than $29 now that Apple has set the price so low (at least for 2018). iFixit also hasn’t said if it’ll be permanently keeping prices in this range or if it’ll be raising back up to the usual costs once Apple stops offering discounted batteries in 2019.
Still, unless you’ve got an older phone not covered by Apple, really need to save $5, or just distrust Apple’s repairs, it’s hard to argue that Apple’s official replacements aren’t the way to go for the next year.