Apple Is Not Nordstrom


ZDNet’s David Morgenstern wrote an article titled “Apple Store fails the Nordstrom test“. The main thesis of his argument rests on an Apple Store refusing to replace a nonworking Snow Leopard DVD because it was purchased from his local university bookstore. Nordstrom, on the other hand, takes returns for its products and purchase location isn’t a factor. I can’t agree more with David, but Apple is not Nordstrom in more ways than that.

A while ago my iPhone slid out my hands and did a face-plant on concrete, cracking the front cover. Thankfully the LCD was intact and the iPhone was still functioning. At the time broken iPhones were selling on eBay for about US$200. For a second I thought of selling mine. Then I thought of the Apple Store and thought maybe I could get lucky. I had heard of wonderful stories online and from friends who experienced Nordstrom-like service where they were able to get a replacement for a damaged iPhone. A lady in blue simply looked at my iPhone and gave me the price: $200, for Apple to fix it. That was a bit too expensive for me.

But I remembered iFixit (, a company that sells pretty much anything you need to fix stuff, stuff like iPhones. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, was kind enough to send me an “iPhone 3G Front Panel Kit” so I could fix my broken iPhone. The process took quite some time, a lot more effort, a blow dryer, and a high level of dexterity but at the end of a couple of hours, my iPhone 3G was back in shape and 100% operational. If your iPhone had the misfortune to slide through your hands and do a face plant on concrete, the “iPhone 3G Front Panel Kit” from iFixit is absolutely the way to go. There is a YouTube video showing you how it is done.

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