Apple to Open iPhone to Self-Repair in 2022

Posted on November 17, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPadOS, Mac and macOS, Mobile with 26 Comments

Apple today announced a Self Service Repair program that will allow its customers to repair their own Apple devices using genuine Apple parts and tools. The program opens in 2022, starting with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams said. “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.”

According to Apple, the program will start in the U.S. only and with just specific iPhone 12 and 13 parts—-like the display, battery, and camera—and will expand over time, to other regions and with other parts and other Apple products. It specifically calls out the M1-based Macs as coming soon.

“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,” the firm notes of the program. Obviously, the vast majority of Apple customers should—and will—continue using authorized technicians for hardware repairs. But this program should answer most remaining “right to repair” complaints while offering more technical customers the ability to do their own repairs when possible.

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (26)

26 responses to “Apple to Open iPhone to Self-Repair in 2022”

  1. red.radar

    The ground is feeling rather cold this morning....

  2. rob_segal

    Lucifer must've turned on the air conditioner this morning.

  3. nbplopes

    This was bound to happen. I bet team of lawyers have concluded …


    Now, the App Store policies …


    PS: This practice of creating problems and than provide a fix and call it innovation is one of the reasons I stopped using Windows daily a decade ago. Apple seams to be doing the same in some contexts … I guess when companies big so does their stupidity.

  4. nuriamagnet

    The new iphone 14 will include a new mountage manual to feel like a real apple worker arming your new iphone.

  5. winner

    Apple decides this isn't the hill they want to die on.

  6. briantlewis

    This is a super interesting development. Back in the 90's I was a certified Apple tech. Mac's aren't any more difficult than PCs to work with, it's all about having access to proper parts, and in some cases particular tools. I'm interested in seeing what they ship a customer who wants to perform a screen replacement - especially since it's adhesively sealed.


    Most people will never ever take Apple up on this. Nice to have an option to bypass a depot repair if need be.

  7. scovious

    Behold the Apple Torx Screwdriver C, now only 699.99 and 50% smaller than last year's model.

  8. j5

    That’s good news. I would definitely try some repairs myself. Or now phone and comp repair places can get genuine parts to fit it.

  9. shark47

    These tools are going to be really expensive and another major revenue stream for Apple.


    "Bought an iPhone? Buy our premium iDriver as well for $200."

  10. mike2thel73

    This just another PR stunt to try and keep governments from holding them truly accountable.


    They did a similar announcement 2 or 3 years ago. People in support of right to repair called them out on it then like they are doing it now.


    Anyone who believes apple is going to really do the right thing is doing hardcore drugs.


    Anyone who believes government will do the right thing...same opinion as above

    • xamzara

      They have never announced anything like this before.


      Also, Apple is the first major consumer electronics company to announce anything like this.


      You can’t get parts from Samsung etc. if you are a consumer or a non-authorised repair shop. So how about giving Apple at least some credit and not give 80-90% of the industry a pass in this matter.


      Also, we all know that in practice this program has very little effect on anything: almost all consumers should take their iPhone or Mac to authorised service instead of attempting to fix them on their own.

    • wright_is

      It is allegedly due to shareholder pressure.

  11. lezmaka

    Sounds nice, but they didn't really say anything about how it will really function. We won't know until they actually detail everything, or more likely they just give out generic information and then wait for people run into all kinds of exceptions when they start doing repairs. Only thing that jumped out at me was they mentioned reviewing the repair guide before ordering, so hopefully all those will be public.


    • Since it's called "self service repair" they will probably only ship parts to an individual customer. Repair shops not blessed by Apple probably won't be able to order parts on behalf of the customer, making it more of a pain than it needs to be.
    • Does it void the warranty?
    • You'll probably pay a crazy amount for the replacement part, then get a credit when you return the old part, meaning you'll need to pay big up front and hope they give you decent value for the old part. Not unusual, I think some car parts work like this.
    • It also says the customer orders "parts and tools" but only mentions returning the old part for a credit. Are customers stuck with the tool or can it be returned for a refund as well?
    • Will they somehow try to say you can't pay to have a non-authorized repair shop do it for you? Like their version of the "Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited" warnings, that is nonsense but there to scare people.
  12. RobertJasiek

    "this program should answer most remaining 'right to repair' complaints"


    Sorry, but this is only the first baby step! There ought to be easy repairability and battery replaceability by the enduser of all devices (incl. tablets). Shall I mention fair prices of components? The Fairphone is the model.

    • xamzara

      It’s probably more or less impossible to have easily replaceable batteries in all devices - AirPods and Apple Watch would be challenging.


      If you want replaceable batteries in those then you must accept that the devices would be considerably bulkier, or have smaller sized batteries. No thanks.


      Apple will “replace! your iPad battery for $99. It’s my understanding that you’ll get a refurbished unit back, same or newer model. That’s not optimal, but if recycling is effective then it’s not that bad. And for that price, a DIY replacement doesn’t make any sense.

    • bkkcanuck

      The batteries in the M1 Macs just released are actually easier to replace. However you won't get much of a savings from replacing your batteries yourself since for the most part the price Apple charges (fixed price) is actually quite reasonable - and doing it yourself only opens you to risk of not having Apple replacing damaged components for free if something goes wrong. Don't get me wrong, this is a small step in the right direction. Right to repair is not about changing the design of the devices, it is about being able to do it - for those that are comfortable fixing things themselves. I actually benefited by Apple replacing my battery in one of the older Macbooks (the one where they replaced the bottom casing as well as the battery... they ended up replacing the motherboard etc. giving me double the SSD space and an upgrade in processor at the same time because they did not have my version in stock to repair immediately.

      • Jim Lewis

        Re: "...doing it yourself only opens you to risk of not having Apple replacing damaged components for free if something goes wrong."


        My brother-in-law took his iPhone to an Apple Store to get the battery replaced. On trying to do it, the Store told him the battery pull tab was broken (or something like that), they couldn't safely get the battery out, and he'd have to get a new or refurbished iPhone at his own expense (he didn't have Apple Care). He thought they'd damaged the tab themselves, he bought an inexpensive iPhone battery replacement kit on Amazon, and spent hours successfully doing the replacement himself. Don't mean to throw a bunch of cold water on your comment. Just remarking that it doesn't always work out that Apple is incredibly generous fixing up devices that need help. My wife also had the sapphire lens crystal on her iPhone XS Max crack several years back - she thinks it was just the fragility of sapphire and claims she didn't stress her phone in any way. Another Apple Store told her, too bad, not under Apple Care, that issue is not covered, even though her phone was still in its warranty period.

        • nbplopes

          That is why right to repair exists. It might not be worth to spend time fixing something for Apple, but it might be for someone else.

  13. jimchamplin

    Okay industry, gauntlet thrown.

    • bluvg

      Hopefully this won't be like John Deere, which committed to the same thing in 2018 but isn't actually implementing the necessary changes to make it possible.

  14. dcdevito

    Wow. I have no words

  15. ghostrider

    What this translates as, is 'you'll have the right to repair what we allow you to repair, and then only specific parts using our own super-expensive, genuine repair kits and if you screw it up, it's your fault'.


    Apple have done this very, very reluctantly for one reason - to avoid the bad PR, because Apple's brand image is EVERYTHING to them and they will avoid damaging it at all costs. They can still charge whatever they want for the kits because they probably hope you'll end up buying the kit, damaging the phone in the process, then buying a new iPhone anyway.

Leave a Reply