When you buy a cell phone what are you actually buying?

In the old days, things were simple.

You bought a lawnmower or something similar and it you had a problem that was not covered by a warranty you could repair it at your own cost and risk.

If you buy an iPhone (and probably any other smartphone or even dumbphone) it is much less clear what you are buying.

For instance, if you bought a new iPhone 7 that was Verizon branded at Best Buy and activated it on RingPlus initially you ended up with a locked device.

If you bought the exact same phone at the Apple Store and activated it on RingPlus initially you did not end up with a locked device.

Now there is a movement underway in a number of states to allow a "right to repair" electronic devices outside of the manufacturer's channel.

Apple is opposing such legislation.

So the question becomes the following:

Do you own your iPhone or are you simply purchasing a license to exercise certain ownership rights in perpetuity?

Do you really need to bring your attorney along on your next visit to Best Buy or can you have confidence going by yourself and knowing what you are actually doing?

Out of the box, you own the hardware, not the software. Smartphones can be repaired by third parties, but it'll void your warranty. As a faulty repair (e.g., screen replacement) has the potential to negatively affect the software (e.g., sensors), I'd agree that if you want to retain warranty coverage, get it fixed by the manufacturer.

Interesting commentary by a leading curmudgeon on the Right to Repair.

If you want to read what the Nebraska bill says, it's found here: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/105/PDF/Intro/LB67.pdf
To "track" the bill's progress: Nebraska Legislature - Legislative Document

Thanks for posting the links.

I can see why Apple might be opposed.:slight_smile:

Articles like that help us remember what powerless, compliant serfs we are.

We just do as we're told and let others tell us what we can and can't do with our stuff.

"We just do as we're told and let others tell us what we can and can't do with our stuff."

I think what has really happened is that it is in many cases not really "our stuff" even though we like to think that it actually is.

If you have a plain old percolator you can just buy any coffee you like. If you spring for a Keurig 2.0 you pretty much are supposed to use their k-cups (yes, there are hacks). Presumably, you are not actually buying a coffee machine with the Keurig 2.0 but buying into a proprietary "coffee experience."

I have no idea how to "fix" this--the choice seems to be to accept the way things are or opt out of the modern world more and more things require you to rely on the manufacturer and its preferred "partners" to either use the item or obtain any service.

Printers/Ink and Razors/blades are some other examples.

In case you were wondering what is in the ZTE phone you bought.


13 bucks on c7 recycle, for free and clear activation on Tello.
I own the phone, it's activated, it works.

Perhaps Apple is right in trying to prevent unauthorized repairs of its products.

What's "c7?"

www.c7recycle.com Sells used phones.