Right to repair arrives in UK and Europe, where users can now purchase genuine Apple parts to repair an iPhone themselves
Users of certain Apple iPhone models in the UK and parts of Europe can now attempt to repair their handsets by themselves.
Apple announced that its ‘self service repair’ has now arrived in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, meaning customers in those countries can now purchase genuine Apple parts and tools to repair certain Apple devices.
But critics and right to repair campaigners have criticised Apple’s self repair program as being a very modest concession by the tech giant – that is too expensive and in many cases too complex for typical consumers to undertake, and they risk destroying their device or voiding any warranty when attempting a repair.
UK, EU repairs
To replace the screen on an iPhone 13 for example requires reading an 81-page repair manual, plus using 16 tools and taking 61 steps to remove and then replace the screen.
To be fair Apple made clear right from the outset that despite 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.”
But now Apple’s self service repair is available in eight European countries, and customers can acquire repair manuals and genuine Apple parts and tools through the Apple Self Service Repair Store.
Repairable Apple products include the most common repairs for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 portfolio, and Mac notebooks boasting Apple silicon.
Consumers in these countries now have access to more than 200 individual parts and tools, as well as repair manuals.
Apple said the program enables customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices the opportunity to complete their own repairs, using the same manuals, parts, and tools as Apple Store locations and Apple Authorised Service Providers.
“We believe the best technology for our customers and for the planet is technology that lasts, which is why we design our products to be durable and rarely require maintenance or repair,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
“But when a repair is needed, we want customers to have many options for safe, reliable, and secure repair. That’s why we’re excited to launch Self Service Repair in Europe, giving our customers direct access to genuine Apple parts, tools, and manuals,” said Williams.
Apple will 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.
Right to repair
It is fair to say that Apple always had a bit of a reputation regarding repairs by third parties over the years.
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 in November 2021 Apple 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.
Repairable items include the display, battery, and camera.
Five months later in April 2022, Apple opened up its Self Service Repair Store to US customers only, offering more than 200 individual parts and tools (torque drivers, repair trays, display, battery presses etc).
The move comes as countries expand 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.