iRepairs – independent repairers

Independent repairers provide a vital local service. The importance of repair, for our mobile devices, was heightened during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns as technology became an essential resource to stay connected.

iRepairs is based in the market town of Beaconsfield. It is typical of many independent repair shops. It is owned by Ronnie Antoniou. She started repairing as a way of keeping her own family’s technology working. Initially self-taught via YouTube and iFixit, repair was a trial-and-error process. Formal training was later, initially at London School of Mobile Technology and later at Apple. From repairing family and then friends’ devices she became more widely known and contacted as no one else in the town undertook such repairs. Working from home for the first 5-6 years, she opened iRepairs in 2018, with her daughter (also Apple trained) working with her. Since then, the team has evolved with several new staff and they now repair Apple, plus Samsung and Surface Pro devices. They have had to invest in repair technology as the phones have increasingly become more difficult to open, with glue replacing simple screws.

Ronnie explains that most repairs are required due to broken screens or failing batteries or liquid damage. As we talk she is working on a Macbook which has had liquid damage, she suspects that it might not be economically repairable, as the design of this model means that any electrical short (due to liquid) on the USB-C supply may have damaged the main circuit board components due to the way it is designed.

During the covid-19 pandemic, repair shops initially had to close, as being deemed non-essential, but they were still able to offer a service, albeit limited, by using a nearby store as a drop-off and pick-up point. They are now considered an essential service, as repair enables people to stay connected.

They have recently opened a free recycling service for electronics, they repair what they can and donate the refurbished devices to local charities.  The devices they cannot repair are properly recycled.