Apple Opens ‘Self Service Repair’ Online Store

Apple on Wednesday opened its new ‘Self Service Repair’ online store, that will provide repair manuals and genuine Apple parts and tools for people to repair their own iPhones.

Apple Self Service Repair store, available here, is only currently available for users in the United States, but will expand to additional countries – beginning in Europe – later this year.

It comes after Apple in November last year finally responded to years of growing pressure over its tight control over repairs and access to genuine spare parts, by confirming plans to give technically-minded customers the ability to repair their own devices.

Self Service Repair

Now five months later, Apple said the Self Service Repair Store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools (torque drivers, repair trays, display, battery presses etc).

This will enable “customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices to complete repairs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and iPhone SE (3rd generation).”

Repairable items include the display, battery, and camera.

Apple said later this year the program will also include manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Mac computers with Apple silicon.

“To start the Self Service Repair process, a customer will first review the repair manual for the product they want to repair by visiting support.apple.com/self-service-repair. Then, they can visit the Apple Self Service Repair Store and order the necessary parts and tools,” said the tech giant.

Apple will also offer tool rental kits for $49, so that customers who do not want to purchase tools for a single repair still have access to these professional repair tools.

The week-long rental kits will ship to customers for free.

However Apple made clear that despite opening up this program, it believes that visiting a certified technician with genuine Apple parts is still the “safest and most reliable way to get a repair” for the “vast majority of customers who do not have experience repairing electronic devices.”

Right to Repair

It is fair to say that Apple had a bit of a reputation regarding repairs by third parties over the years.

Teardown specialist iFixit has consistently highlighting the road blocks put up by Apple and other device manufacturers, trying to stop third parties from repairing their devices.

But pressure it seems can sometimes result in change.

In August 2019 for example, Apple confirmed it would, for the first time ever, supply genuine parts to independent repair shops.

Then last October the US Copyright Office waded into the right to repair movement, that is being supported by the US President Joe Biden.

The US Copyright Office said it was expanding a legal shield for fixing digital devices, including cars and medical devices.

It came after the office submitted new exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans breaking software copy protection.

And other countries are also expanding their own right to repair regulations.

In July 2021 the UK government introduced new legislation which obliges manufacturers to make spare parts available to consumers so appliances can be fixed.

The European Parliament has also voted in favour of establishing stronger “right to repair” laws that will ensure that goods can be repaired for up to 10 years, in order to to reduce electrical waste.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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