Apple’s self-repair program debuts in the US, but there are limits

Starting this week, iPhone owners in the US will be able to “official” repair their damaged device themselves. Apple actually launched its Apple Self Service Repair program announced last November, only available in the US for now.

On a special online site, this service allows anyone to order official parts for an iPhone 12, iPhone 13 or iPhone SE (3rd generation) and the tool kit for Carry out repairs yourself. Later it will also apply to MacBooks and access will be made available for other countries as well. Obviously, this requires a certain knowledge and skill to carry out some manipulations that can turn out to be complex.

A good idea with many problems

With Apple Self Service Repair, you can then replace the screen, speaker, battery, or camera with official parts and use tools normally reserved for authorized repairers. Manuals are also supplied to carry out everything professionally.

Everything seems perfect on paper. So it makes sense that the repair specialist iFixit took care of the matter. Elizabeth Chamberlain, sustainability manager at iFixit, comments on the service in a long blog post: Although she welcomes the initiative, she is still skeptical on many points and points out the problems.

“Anything that gets people fixing it is great news,” he wrote, saying he’s “thrilled” with Apple’s program with its seven-year availability of parts, retail tools, and free provision of detailed repair manuals. But he adds: “We are disappointed and are returning to our usual skepticism. »

There? Apple specifically requires that you have a serial number or IMEI of your device to get the parts and tools (which is also important to adapt the parts to the iPhone…). Cupertino only allows “very limited” repairs, according to the website.

Using unofficial parts on your iPhone can expose you to an error message. “This strategy hampers third-party component repair with loss-of-function and fear tactics that could severely limit options for recyclers and engineers and impact the circular economy.”said Chamberlain.

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