Yesterday Apple announced Self Service Repair programme, 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 line-ups, 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. This was a reversal of years of restrictive repair policies by Apple. The announcement follows months of growing pressure from repair activists and regulators.
Customers will 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 programme 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.”
In May, the Federal Trade Commission came out strongly in favour of independent repair with the release of a report finding “scant evidence” to justify restrictions imposed by companies like Apple. In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order encouraging the FTC to craft new regulations that would limit the ability of cell phone makers to restrict DIY repair. The spectre of looming regulations was certainly a factor in Apple’s decision.