Wow. After years of doing everything it can to thwart people from repairing their gadgets themselves, Apple has reversed course and launched a self-service repair program for the first time.
The program, which kicks off “early next year” in the U.S., will start with iPhone 12 and 13 devices, followed by Mac computers with M1 chips.
In practice, the program will work as follows: First, a customer should review the official repair manual, and then place an order for parts and tools using the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store. After the repair is done, customers who return used parts for recycling will receive credit towards their next purchase. Apple says the store will offer more than 200 individual parts and tools.
While this is great news for DIY types, Apple says the program is intended for “individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices.” Most customers should visit a professional repair provider, the company says.
“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 a statement. “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 the past, Apple wasn’t very keen on people repairing their iPhones and Macs. The company’s resistance to this idea ranged from using proprietary screws on its products to disabling Face ID after a non-authorized display change (Apple recently backpedaled on this one). With right to repair legislation looming in more and more markets, the company likely decided to take matters into its own hands before it was forced to act by the law.
Apple says the program will kick off in the U.S., and expand to additional countries “throughout 2022.”
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