Apple now lets you repair your own iPhone
We did not see this coming. Good job Apple
Following heavy criticism regarding anti-repair practices on the iPhone 13 lineup, Apple has just announced its Self Service Repair program. The company shared earlier that third-party screen repairs would no longer disable Face ID, after online outrage. The Cupertino giant is now taking an unexpected step further and making repairs easily accessible to individuals.
In a newsroom post, Apple has stated that iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 users will be able to order genuine spare parts and tools to repair their own iPhones. The move is unprecedented by Apple, but it’s most definitely a welcome one that will help it dodge potential anti-trust lawsuits.
The program will be available starting early next year in the US initially. More countries will follow later on throughout 2022. Apple’s Self Service Repair program will also support Macs powered by the M1 chip. While the parts will be limited at first, it’s still a move in the right direction.
Apple will first focus on iPhone displays, batteries, and cameras, with additional repairs to follow later next year. The company emphasizes user safety by stating:
To ensure a customer can safely perform a repair, it’s important they first review the Repair Manual. Then a customer will place an order for the Apple genuine parts and tools using the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store. Following the repair, customers who return their used part for recycling will receive credit toward their purchase.
So the company will be sharing a Repair Manual with users interested in doing the repairs themselves. The new online repair store will feature over 200 spare parts for different device models. And those who return the used parts will get credit towards the purchase.
The company warns that average customers shouldn’t attempt to repair their own devices. Instead, it advises them to visit an authorized repair store:
Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices. For the vast majority of customers, visiting a professional repair provider with certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair.
There’s no clarification regarding feature availability after a self service repair. Will users be able to use all device features, such as the True Tone technology? That’s yet to be seen. There’s also a possibility that Apple will include a catch to dissuade users from doing the repairs themselves. It could be high spare parts prices that almost match that of an authorized repair or something else. Apple already makes it relatively hard to become an Independent Repair Provider (IRP). So self service repairs could also have their own obstacles.
It’s not to the company’s advantage to make repairs convenient and accessible to users. After all, if they are cheap, widely available, and don’t break any features, a portion of users will likely stop buying Apple Care. At this point it’s all speculations and assumptions, but it’s hard to see Apple letting go of a monopoly without getting something out of it.
What do you think of Apple’s move? Let us know in the comments section below.