Enlarge / The back of the iPhone 13.
Apple will start selling repair kits to consumers who want to do some basic repairs to their iPhones themselves. The program, titled Self Service Repair, will be available for the first time in the U.S. early next year, with additional regions gaining access later in 2022.
The program will initially only apply to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 devices, but “soon” will also apply to Macs with M1 chips. An Apple press release about the program said it was designed to provide “customers who are familiar with how to do their own repairs” access to parts and support they need, but it believes it is available to an independent Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) going repair provider or Apple Store will still be the best choice for most users.
But for those who want to repair their phones or laptops themselves, Apple describes the process like this:
To ensure that a customer can safely complete a repair, it is important that they read the repair manual first. Then a customer orders the original Apple parts and tools via the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store. After the repair, customers who return their old part for recycling will receive a credit on their purchase.
The new store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools that customers can use to carry out the most common repairs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.
Users are sent some of the same tools that Apple’s Genius Bar staff use. This builds on a similar initiative to move these tools into the hands of independent repair providers that has expanded to 2,800 providers.
Users who perform repairs through this program will not void their device’s warranty provided they follow the instructions provided and use Apple’s tools. Apple hasn’t yet said how much these tools will cost.
Right-to-repair advocates have cited this as a welcome turning point, even if it’s easy to read as an attempt to prevent law or other government interference, as the FTC, under the Biden administration, has signaled that the right-to-repair concerns have been addressed currently priority.
Apple has built a reputation for providing good customer service to users who have purchased AppleCare + coverage, but the company’s efforts to date to ensure that only certain approved repair shops do the repairs have resulted in many of its customers not having an easy one Have access to repairs, especially in rural and less affluent areas.
Apple has argued that opening the floodgates for repairs by anyone would in some cases lead to customers being misled by improper operations and sub-par, unauthorized components.
Even so, it is possible that the parts of the self-service repair program are so expensive that few consumers actually use this program instead of seeking repairs from Apple or one of its partners when given the choice.