After five months of silence on the state of its self-service repair program, Apple has finally launched it for US customers.
Apple initially made the world aware of its intention to launch a self-service repair program in November 2021, surprising many an Apple watcher used to the company’s checkered history with the right-to-repair movement.
Cupertino was mum on the progress of the service before being beaten to the punch earlier this month when Google confirmed a partnership with iFixit to sell parts for Pixel devices online.
When Apple first set out the Self Service Repair it said there would be more than 200 parts and tools available for iPhone 12 and 13 models, and the company indicated today that’s still the case. In particular, the Self Service Repair Store sells parts for all iPhone 12 and 13 series models, as well as the third-generation iPhone SE. Parts include battery, bottom speaker, camera, display, SIM tray and Taptic Engine repairs. Apple said components for Macs with Apple silicon would be added later.
The parts sold by the store are the same as those available to Apple’s authorized repair network, and Apple said it will sell the parts to consumers for the same price it charges repair affiliates. The tools on the site are also the same ones Apple makes for its servicers, and those can be bought individually or rented for one week for $49.
Parts can be purchased as kits for certain replacements or individually as well. The main components for the repairs are priced with the expectation that customers return the broken components to Apple for a credit.
The launch of Apple’s Self Service Repair program comes at a time when right to repair continues to be a hot topic. The Biden administration issued an executive order in mid-2021 specifically targeting John Deere for unfair practices, and later praised Microsoft and Apple for their policy changes to make DIY repairs easier.
In a paper Apple released with its Self Service Repair launch, the company said it’s also taking steps to make its devices last longer and be more repairable by building new devices in a modular fashion. Hardware longevity and short upgrade cycles appear to be a waning trend, with repairability increasingly top of mind for OEMs with environmental and sustainability goals. ®