by Dan Moren
Apple launches a consumer “Self Service Repair” program, starting with iPhones
In a move that I would wager almost nobody saw coming, Apple has announced that it will now allow consumers to buy official parts and tools to repair their own devices:
Available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, and soon to be followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips, Self Service Repair will be available early next year in the US and expand to additional countries throughout 2022. Customers join more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers who have access to these parts, tools, and manuals.
Essentially, this will give end users the same access that Apple Authorized Service Providers get in terms of instructions, tools, and parts. Initially, this will involve the parts that are most commonly repaired: screens, batteries, and cameras.
In a nice move, Apple says that if you return the part you’re replacing for the company to recycle, you’ll get a credit towards your purchase.
Apple does emphasize that this is really aimed at folks with the technical know-how to replace their own product.
One chief impetus for this is no doubt the growing push for “Right to Repair” legislation across the U.S. (my home state of Massachusetts having been an early adopter of this movement).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Apple’s products will necessarily become any easier to repair. iFixit—a longtime proponent of Right to Repair legislation—and others have long provided detailed teardowns Apple products, and while there has been some improvement in places, don’t expect Apple to let you, say, replace your own RAM (especially given that its now basically part of the system on a chip package).