The iPhone Self Service Program that Apple announced last fall launched Wednesday. It provides customers with the parts and tools they need to repair their own handsets. And it marks a major shift in the company’s approach to hardware fixes.
The program is for individuals, not small businesses.
Apple’s Self Service Repair Store is a win for ‘right to repair’
Apple has long faced criticism from “right to repair” advocates for being strictly against DIY fixes. But government regulators around the world are starting to force companies to loosen up on allowing users to fix their own devices. Apple is bowing to the pressure.
The Self Service Repair Store for Apple Products opened Wednesday in the United States, offering genuine Apple parts and tools. The iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone SE 3 are the first models supported, and there are more than 200 individual parts and tools on sale. The program covers replacing the devices’ battery, bottom speaker, camera, display, SIM tray and Taptic Engine.
Just as importantly, Apple is also making iPhone repair manuals available online.
The cost of DYI
This not a source of discount parts. The kit needed to replace the screen on a 6.1-inch iPhone 13 costs $269.95, for example. But the customer can return the tools after the repair for $33.60 back. Apple says it charges average users the same prices for components that it does authorized repair providers.
Apple also offers a complete Self Service Repair tool kit as a $49-per-week rental. You should think hard before choosing this option, though. The kit comes in two cases, and one weighs 43 pounds and the other weighs 36 pounds. Fortunately, the rental fee includes shipping costs.
The Self Service Program starts with iPhones, but Apple promised that Mac computers powered by M1 chips will follow soon. And the program will roll out to other countries later in 2022, beginning in Europe.
While Apple is loosening up on DYI, the company is not encouraging it. “Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices,” the company said in a statement. “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.”