The guys behind iFixit show users how to fix things for free. They create a big business and Apple does not like this.
Wiens, 33, is cofounder and CEO of iFixit – a company whose mission is “teach people how to fix things.” On their website, users can find step-by-step instructions on how to fix a car from a brake, how to make a fire without the need for a cigarette lighter, and how to fix a laptop and Apple phone.
Last year, 94 million people around the world learned how to fix something with iFixit’s help. For Wiens, it was a disappointment because his goal was to reach some 100 million people.
iFixit provides meaningful free information to the user. Website does not have ads, users also do not need to register. 90% of iFixit’s revenue comes from the sale of components and tools for users to repair their own items. The rest came from software they developed and trained repairers – about 15,000 people.
This strange way helps iFixit create a real business. The company is 14 years old and 125 employees grow at 30% per year. iFixit reached $21 million income last year and has a steady profit.
iFixit and their destiny do not seem to alienate anyone except the world’s biggest company – Apple. The apple defects very closely track all iFixit moves.
iFixit creates another version of Apple’s warranty department and shares its way with everyone. They sell custom components and tools to replace Apple components.
In the iFixit way, users can replace a broken screen, or a bottled battery for a much cheaper price than when brought to the Apple Store. Simply put, iFixit believes buying a new iPhone is a waste and Apple does not like it.
IFixit also does not like Apple. At their headquarters in San Luis Obispo (California), they attach garbage bins with the Apple logo. In the six states of the United States, these two companies are fighting fiercely for what is called “the right to be repaired.” If Apple lost, they would lose control of many of the monopolies that are currently selling, greatly affecting the revenue from repairs.
Apple does not publish revenue from this service. However, the Warranty Week estimates that the service brought Apple $5.9 billion from Apple Care’s prolonged warranty program in 2016. “It is the world’s largest extended warranty program, larger than the program. GM, Volkswagen, Best Buy or Walmart”.
Wiens and Soules (32-year-old co-founder) grew up in Oregon. They met in 2003, became roommates, business partners 50-50. Wiens talks a lot and slept less than Soules. He is also the face of iFixit. Soules is in charge of operating foreign markets and managing parts supplies from China.
Wiens had a broken Apple iBook G3. He went online to find a way to fix it. As a kid, he and his brother frequently unplugged the radios and kitchen utensils.
Apple, of course, does not share its product knowledge with customers. This makes Wiens unhappy. It’s his computer, why did not he learn how it works. “This is not fair”, Wiens reminisces. That is the basis for them to come up with ideas for this unique business.