In general, out of warranty repair centres like us (which are shops that do not work for manufacturer and repair independently) have to source their own parts. Manufacturers do not sell parts to repair shops directly at all. Some manufacturers authorised service centres to resell parts to third-party repairers like us and other times some service centres resell parts without permission from the original manufacturer.
It is common for repair centres to mainly buy from Chinese suppliers or they use second-hand parts. Chinese suppliers’ source parts by:
- Copying or remanufacturing the parts entirely or using some original parts and combining them with their own manufactured parts. Sometimes they use second-hand parts to make a new one.
- Disassemble them from working phones and restore them to a new condition.
- Have relationships with factories that make parts for the original manufacturer and the parts leave through backdoor deals.
- Backdoor factory parts can be rejected on the grounds of poor quality or can be stolen from factories and do not always go through the entire manufacturing process. Then a half-assembled part is being finished off by a third party and then the part gets sold.
- Disassembled from new phones.
- Disassembled from used phones.
- In China, there is no strict quality control and parts do not always meet manufacturers’ requirements.
- Factory seconds can have small defects that are hard to spot - think about discolouration in the LCD, a small dead spot in touch sensor or a crackling speaker.
- In China there different grades of quality of the parts A+ to C grade. We only use A+ or the highest available grade of parts.
- China differentiates different part conditions; original, original copy, original self-welded etc. Each supplier has its own definitions which makes the quality inconsistent.
- Chinese prices are based on market demand.
- The Chinese parts market is not transparent and you never know how good the quality is going to be. Even when you have a supplier who usually supplies good parts.
- In general, parts from China are not handled to ESD standards for electronic component handling, which shortens the lifespan and causes sudden malfunctioning of electric components.
Repair shops are often not aware how Chinese market works and/or mislead clients. When their repairs are very cheap (example iPhone 4 for $69) they probably use a cheap copied part or lower grade original parts. Fix My Mobile does not use any such parts.
Fix My Mobile Sourcing Process:
- We prefer to purchase through service centres were possible and recommend those parts for our repairs. We are able to source LG, Nokia, HTC and Samsung in such a way. Manufacturer prices never change and are usually very expensive, which can become a problem when the phone that needs fixing is getting older and a repair is often not viable anymore.
- If the price difference for original manufacture parts is significant, but we still want to offer reasonably priced repairs, we source parts through Chinese suppliers OR when we are not able to source the parts through the authorised service centre for specific models or brands, we use Chinese sources to repair handsets.
- NEARLY ALL PHONE REPAIRERS USE CHINESE SUPPLIERS OR SUPPLIERS WHO HAVE A CONNECTION TO CHINA.
FMM has the following type of parts:
Original Manufacturer Ori MFN
Original Third Party Supplier Ori TPS
After Market AM
For each of these classes we have conditions:
Sourced from service centre or manufacturer. Tested by the manufacturer and passed their Quality Assurance and are packed in ESD safe materials. Fix My Mobile is actually one of the few companies Australia wide who does this and that is why insurance companies and corporate clients love to use us. We restore the phone to a reliable factory condition.
Original Third Party Supplier
Purchased from sources other than the service centre or manufacturer. These parts claimed to be original. LCD assemblies (LCD, glass and frame) are often assembled with original parts outside the factory of the manufacturer. There is no strict Quality Assurance process and it relies on Chinese suppliers QA process. These are usually packed in plastic bubbles which are fine for shipping but are not ESD safe. For us to label these parts as being a quality original third party, all components need to be original. This means original glass with original LCD. Unfortunately, some suppliers or repairers don’t care and when it has 1 original part (usually the LCD) they still call the entire part original, which it is not.
This is a clone/copy of the original part which is often the cheapest way to fix a phone. Common for touch panels and housings, as well as small parts like buttons, flexes and speakers. Fix My Mobile hardly ever uses this option. We only do when original parts are simply not available. Fix My Mobile uses this term when we know or can see it’s not original even when suppliers say it is original. Fix My Mobile uses this term when 1 part of the assembly is not original. For example, if the part has an original LCD but non-original glass.
New never used from MFN if TPS then new but maybe second-hand parts that we can’t see.
Often taken off new phones or from phones that are returned to the carrier/shop where purchased. Once installed Fix My Mobile guarantees that the product looks and functions like new but we are honest and tell you it’s not new. Others use often use the term ‘refurbished’.
Used parts that are still good to use, but are visibly not new. These parts may have slight dent or scratch. As requested, we will happily show the part prior to being installed to avoid disappointment. In the market, this is also often called ‘refurbished’ but clearly different to the first example.
We stopped using the term ‘refurbished’ because this term is used by all suppliers and third-party repairers and it allows space for dishonesty and is not transparent. For some, ‘refurbished’ is second hand, for others it is new but assembled by a third party, for others it is used but restored to a new condition etc. We like to be clear about what is going into your phone.
The truth that NONE of the third party repair shops actually tell you:
- All Apple parts come from China at this stage as there is no service provider selling parts. This means that all Apple parts are purchased by Fix My Mobile and all other repairs from sources who say that the parts are genuine. However they are made from original materials; original glass, LCD and assembled by a third party. If not all original parts are available, substitutes will be used, but the part is still sold as original. Often the manufacturer Apple is not able to see this once the product is installed.
- The majority (we estimate about 95%) of Samsung screens assembly happens in China and are assembled with original materials.
- The majority of the LCD assemblies (glass, LCD on frame) use second-hand LCD screens. Screens with cracked glass are being sold back to refurbishment centres where they separate the LCD from the broken glass and reassemble the part.
- Fix My Mobile all iPhone repairs are Original Manufacturer New
- Fix My Mobile almost all Samsung screen repairs are Original Manufacturer New
- Fix My Mobile LG are Original Third Party Supplier New
- Fix My Mobile HTC are Original Manufacturer New and Original Third Party Supplier New