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Apple launches its first self-service repair program

In a win for ‘right to repair’ campaigners, tech giant Apple has introduced Self Service Repair, which will allow customers access to some Apple parts, tools and manuals. Starting with iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, it will later be rolled out to include Mac computers that are widely used by print and signage businesses.

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    (image: Apple)

“Self Service Repair will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools,” the company said in an announcement from corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California. 

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'Greater access to Apple parts':
      Jeff Williams, COO Apple

“Available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 line-ups, 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.”

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer said: “Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed.

"In the past three years, Apple has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools and training, and now we’re providing an option for those who wish to complete their own repairs.”

The initial phase of the program will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone display, battery and camera. The ability for additional repairs will be available later next year.

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    (image: Right to Repair Europe)
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  "The devil is in the details":
         Chloé Mikolajczak,
     Right to Repair Europe

“This move represents a major reversal from Apple, who have spent untold millions lobbying against legislation which would require them to do this,” said Chloé Mikolajczak from Right to Repair Europe.

“The Right to Repair campaign welcomes this announcement but remains cautious about the implementation, which is not expected to be applicable to Europe until later in 2022. We hope it represents a genuine, new direction that recognises we must have more repair options.

“In order for Self Service Repair to actually be beneficial for consumers, it is essential for Apple to make its spare parts available at an affordable price as high costs are still the main reason why repairs do not take place today,” Mikolajczak said.

“High cost of spare parts were one of the main barriers to the widespread uptake of Apple’s Independent Repair Program (IRP) launched last year. In addition, the ordering process must be simple and fast in order to minimise the time and logistical effort necessary to undertake a repair.

“As the devil is in the details, we’ll be monitoring the exact terms and conditions of this initiative.”

Apple Self Service Repair

In its announcement, Apple said: “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 towards their purchase.

"The new store will offer more than 200 individual parts and tools, enabling customers to complete the most common repairs on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

"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."

US news site CNBC noted: “The Biden administration and the Federal Trade Commission have signalled a focus on right to repair, which might have forced Apple to act down this road. In his executive order on competition, the president directed the FTC to consider rules preventing ‘unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items.’ The FTC in July unanimously voted to ramp up repair restriction enforcement.”

Apple hasn’t yet announced how much the parts will cost.