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Apple's self-repair system revealed, likely similar to Samsung's and Google's
- Apple is the first major company to launch its self-repair service.
- Customers can order parts and tools and can access manuals and instructional information.
- The service is launching in the US and will expand later this year.
Apple has unveiled its much-anticipated self-repair program, rolling it out first to its US customers.
Apple is one of several manufacturers to announce self-repair programs, including Samsung, Microsoft, and Google. Apple is now the first to deploy the service, giving us a glimpse at how similar options may work across the industry.
As part of the service, Apple has set up a Self Service Repair Store website, giving users the ability to read Apple’s repair manual for their specific product, learn more about self-service repair, and order from the 200 parts and tools available. The company emphasizes the service is for “customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices.”
At the time of writing, users can repair the latest iPhone device series, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone SE (2022). Eligible parts include the battery, camera, and display. Apple plans on expanding the service to include Macs powered by its custom silicon later this year.
See also: Android phones should have a private “repair mode”
Apple emphasizes that the parts ordered through its program are identical to those used in its service centers and are offered at the same price. Similarly, the tools Apple sells are the same ones used by its own technicians. As an added benefit, users who don’t want to purchase the repair tools from Apple can rent them for $49.
Unfortunately, customers hoping Apple’s program will open the door to complete right-to-repair freedom are in for a disappointment. Repair site iFixit told Android Authority the parts customers order will require a software tool that pairs them with the specific phone being repaired. Any other products will produce an “unable to verify” warning.
“Apple’s products have complex lives: they travel around the world and move from owner to owner,” said Kyle Wiens, iFixit CEO. “Supporting a product’s entire lifecycle requires enabling component harvesting and reuse, as well as aftermarket parts. I fear that the restrictions Apple is placing on this program will limit the environmental impact and benefit.”
Apple and its rivals are responding to increased pressure from consumers and lawmakers to give users the ability to repair their own devices rather than replace them or wait on the companies to repair them. While Samsung and Google are partnering with iFixit for their self-repair services, and Microsoft has yet to reveal any substantial details, it’s likely these other programs will operate in a similar fashion as Apple’s system.
The company plans to expand the service internationally, beginning in Europe, later this year.