Back in November of 2021 Apple announced a Self Service Repair program for the iPhone 12, 13, and SE (3rd gen). Since then, we’ve all been hitting F5 on an imaginary URL waiting for something to appear. Today, the page resolved and voila; Apple’s program is finally live. It allows you to buy the necessary parts and tools for the most common repairs. Apple even includes detailed repair manuals as well. Once you figure out which parts you need, you can order whatever you like and perform DIY repairs with your fingers crossed. It’s a step towards the right-to-repair the user community deserves.
Apple announced the official start of the program in a blog post. You can now peruse and purchase more than 200 parts and tools for late model iPhones. Apple is focusing on the most requested repairs with the program, but its parts list should cover most peoples’ needs. You can now purchase a battery, display, speaker, camera, SIM tray, and taptic engine. Apple even lets you purchase just the part you want, or a “bundle” that has all the ancillary parts.
The prices seem reasonable too. For example, an iPhone 13 camera bundle is $117, but if you return the parts you replaced it’s only $64. There doesn’t seem to be an Apple tax here for little things either. Two security screws cost just $0.20, and the camera cowling is $0.50. Apple says these are the same prices it charges its network of certified repair technicians. Also, if you’re upset at the prospect of buying tools for a one-time job, Apple will rent them to you. The tool rental program costs $49 and gives you seven days to use them. After that time, they are returned to Apple.
There’s not much information on what the parts in the bundles are for, unfortunately. To figure all that out you’ll have to head over to the manual section and dig through it. Apple also includes a warning that this program is for those “who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices.” Also, in some cases it’s not as simple as just swapping parts out and being done. For example, if you replace your phone’s camera you’ll need to run a “system configuration” software tool also. You’ll need to contact Apple by phone or chat to get the software.
Although Motorola is technically the first company to offer DIY phone repair, Apple is the first major player to make it official. It seems like the dam has officially broken on this movement too. Recently, both Samsung and Google announced their own self repair programs. Both companies will be using iFixit to offer tools and parts to customers. Both companies have stated their repair programs will be available later this year. Apple’s program is only for iPhones currently but the company says it will be expanding the program soon. Later this year it’ll offer the same support for M1-based Macs and it’ll offer the program in Europe too.
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