Apple says my phone requires total replacement?

  mrtorrence 04:10 05 Sep 2018

About a week ago I noticed my phone could no longer make calls. The call will connect but I don't hear anything and the people on the other side don't hear me. I got it to work with headphones a couple times, and it seems to work fine with Bluetooth headphones but the ear speaker and microphone seem to be out of commission. I can't record a voice memo (one of the things apple tech support had me check). We backed up and restored the phone, no change. Apple says that the phone requires a complete replacement that will cost $320 because this phone (an iPhone 7) is 180 days out of warranty. If I buy that new phone it will only come with a 3-month warranty and I cannot purchase apple care for it even though it would be a brand new piece of hardware. Another option is to purchase a refurbished phone off the Apple Store online for $499 which would have a 1-year warranty and be eligible for Apple Care extended warranty. I could sell my current phone for maaaybe $70 on the third party market (let me know if that's way off base), so that phone net would cost me $100 more but would have 9-months additional warranty which seems worth it. But I'm really getting sick of this planned obsolescence given the environmental and social impact of mining the metals for the phone and manufacturing them. The tech at the Apple store told me the logic board is likely the issue. Since the phone is out of warranty anyway can I just have a 3rd party repair shop replace the logic board? This would be much better from an environmental perspective. Any other options I'm not considering? I'd love to ditch Apple and get a Fairphone 2 that is mostly free from conflict minerals and much more easily repairable and upgradeable but they only sell them in Europe right now.

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