Apple begins selling iPhone self-service repair kits in the US

Apple is launching a DIY cell phone repair service in the US today, making available parts for the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and the third generation iPhone SE. When the company announced its “self-service repair” initiative last year, Apple said it planned to sell more than 200 “individual parts and tools” to customers. It’s only available in the US for now, but Apple plans to expand the program to other countries as well as additional devices, such as Macs equipped with M1 chips, later this year.

Replacement parts are available through the Apple Self-Service Repair Shop. The company said in its press release that tool rental kits will also be available to rent for seven days at a cost of $49 for customers who do not wish to purchase tools outright.

The program represents an important shift for Apple, which in the past has placed restrictions on the availability of original parts. Although replacement aftermarket parts are sometimes available, Apple devices have sometimes shown ominous warning signs if they are repaired with non-genuine components. However, with the Self-Service Repair Initiative, anyone in the US is free to purchase a replacement part directly from Apple, knowing that it should work exactly as intended.

Apple has previously warned that its self-repair program is aimed at “individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices” and that the “vast majority of customers” should go to a professional repair technician. But there’s nothing stopping confident customers from trying to repair themselves, and Apple makes available repair manuals to view before purchasing the parts.

Apple says parts will be sold to customers at the same price as existing authorized repair providers, and in some cases, it will offer a credit if customers return a replaced part for recycling. for example, Take Crunch It states that an iPhone 12 or 13 battery costs $69 with a potential credit of $24.15 to return a replaced part. The screens for the same phones range in price from $225.96 to $309.96 with a potential credit of $33.60. Apple DIY pricing isn’t much cheaper than simply paying the company to do the repairs themselves, although it does get better once you consider the discount to send in a replacement part.

Repair specialists iFixit They also raised issues with Apple’s requirement that customers provide the IMEI or serial number of their device when purchasing a replacement part. This requirement raised questions about what happens if you try to install a replacement part purchased using one phone’s serial number into another similar phone. “Incorporating serial number verification into the checkout process is a bad omen and may allow Apple the ability to prevent further repairs in the future,” in iFixit Elizabeth Chamberlain writes.

The launch of Apple’s self-service repair program comes amid a flurry of self-repair advertisements from other smartphone manufacturers. In recent months, both Google and Samsung have announced partnerships with iFixit to sell parts for their devices while, on the computer side, Valve is also working with the organization to facilitate DIY repairs for the Steam Deck.

These initiatives come after years of lobbying by repair activists and regulators for manufacturers to make it easier to repair their machines, which will hopefully prevent them from reaching landfills prematurely. Apple in particular faced additional pressure from activist shareholders to reassess its position on standalone reforms last year.

Update Apr 27 11:33AM ET: Updated with a price comparison with Apple’s internal fixes and with iFixit’s reservations about orders requiring a serial number.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.