In a striking shift, on Wednesday morning, Apple announced that the company will soon make parts and repair manuals available to the general public. After decades of actively fighting to prevent independent repair and restrict public access to parts, manuals, and diagnostic tools, and lobbying against right to repair laws–here we finally are.
Apple has been getting pushback on this for a long time culminating in a shareholder resolution environmental advocates filed with the company in September. Wednesday’s announcement came as advocates were about to bring the issue to the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve.
Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy told The Verge that the program “has been in development for well over a year,” describing it as “the next step in increasing customer access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and manuals.” Leahy declined to say whether the timing of the announcement was influenced by shareholder pressure.
As reported in the Verge in their comprehensive take: The program will allow members of the general public to order genuine Apple parts in order to make basic iPhone repairs at home — something Apple has long argued is too dangerous for individuals to do. According to Apple, Self Service Repair will initially focus on the display, battery, and camera for iPhone 12 and 13 models. Individuals interested in doing screen repairs or battery replacements for those models at home will be able to place an order for genuine Apple parts through a new Apple Self Service Repair Online Store, send in their old part for recycling, and receive a new one. [email protected] Verge
iFixit’s Kyle Wiens told Engadget in a statement that Self Service Repair was “exactly the right thing” for Apple to do, and a step back toward “long-lasting” products. The DIY repair shop still had reservations about display swaps requiring Apple part provisioning, but it was so far happy with the move. You can read the full statement at Engadget. Also, the Public Interest Research Groups’ right to repair director, Nathan Proctor, heralded this as a “major milestone” for self-servicing. [email protected]
9to5 Mac has a gory history of Apple’s resistance to right to repair. Apple’s previous resistance has been widely seen as both greedy, and inconsistent with the company’s environmental stance. Many repairs are simply not worth doing at official Apple prices, making it more likely that consumers will simply dispose of broken devices and buy new ones. [email protected]
Here’s the full text from Apple:
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced Self Service Repair, which will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools. Available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, 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. Customers join more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers who have access to these parts, tools, and manuals.
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.
“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “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.”
Apple builds durable products designed to endure the rigors of everyday use. When an Apple product requires repair, it can be serviced by trained technicians using Apple genuine parts at thousands of locations, including Apple (in-store or by mail), AASPs, Independent Repair Providers, and now product owners who are capable of performing repairs themselves.
Self Service Repair
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 toward 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.
Expanded Access to Apple Repairs
In the past three years, Apple has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and training, including more than 2,800 Independent Repair Providers. The rapidly expanding Independent Repair Provider program originally launched in the US in 2019 and has since grown to more than 200 countries, enabling independent repair shops to access the same training, parts, and tools as other Apple Authorized Service Providers.
In addition, Apple continues to offer convenient repair options for customers through its global network of over 5,000 AASPs that help millions of people with both in- and out-of-warranty service for all Apple products.
By designing products for durability, longevity, and increased repairability, customers enjoy a long-lasting product that holds its value for years. Apple also offers years of software updates to introduce new features and functionality.