In an unexpected announcement, Apple this week announced Self Service Repair, which will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools. It will be available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, and soon to be followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips, starting 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.
This is not a typical move for Apple. Making the original parts and tools available to everyone is especially a big deal for the company. 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.”
When an Apple product requires repair, it can be serviced by trained technicians using Apple genuine parts at thousands of locations, including Apple, AASPs, Independent Repair Providers, and now product owners who are capable of performing repairs themselves.
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.
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.
Despite the announcement of this program, Apple still recommends that most customers should still visit a professional repair provider, and that certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts are the “safest and most reliable way to get a repair”.
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.
Apple has often been criticized for making it very difficult for customers to repair an Apple device outside of Apple’s network of authorized service centers. A recent article from iFixit found out that Apple disabled Face ID when replacing the screen on the iPhone 13. That’s because the screen itself is paired to a small microcontroller attached to the display. Replacing a cracked screen with a new screen will disable this pairing, thus breaking a core piece of functionality in the phone. Apple clarified that it was working to reverse it through a software update, and the launching of the Self Service Repair Program seems to be a step in the right direction.