By Nathalie Voit
Apple announced its new Self Service Repair program, paving the way for users to fix their own devices. The news comes amid increasing scrutiny from FTC regulators and consumers over tech companies’ stringent repair policies.
In a press release delivered Nov. 17, Apple said it would make Apple parts, tools, and repair manuals available for purchase next year to the general public. The program, set to launch in early 2022, will initially only feature product parts for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups. The service will expand to include spare parts for Mac computers using the company’s exclusive in-house M1 chip.
The Cupertino-based tech company has until now severely restricted access to its factory OEM parts. Only select stores like Apple Authorized Service Providers, Apple Stores, and Apple Independent Repair Providers have access to genuine Apple parts and tools. The new program will allow customers to go the DIY route by following repair guides posted on the company’s website.
The program will provide the most “commonly serviced” components, like the iPhone display, battery, and camera modules. The electronics manufacturer plans to add over 200 parts to its program next year after the initial launch phase.
“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in the press release. “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 intends to become the primary service provider for individuals in need of spare Apple parts. Customers will join over 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers who have access to these parts, tools, and manuals.
Apple will announce spare parts prices when the program formally launches next year. Users will be charged the same price as independent repair providers, according to the company. Customers who wish to continue using independent repair shops are encouraged to do so.
“Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices,” the company warned. “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.”