Apple today announced Self Service Repair is now available, providing repair manuals and genuine Apple parts and tools through the Apple Self Service Repair Store. Self Service Repair is available in the US and will expand to additional countries — beginning in Europe — later this year.
The new online store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools, enabling customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices to complete repairs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and iPhone SE (3rd generation), such as the display, battery, and camera. Later this year the program will also include manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Mac computers with Apple silicon.
To start the Self Service Repair process, a customer will first review the repair manual for the product they want to repair by visiting support.apple.com/self-service-repair. Then, they can visit the Apple Self Service Repair Store and order the necessary parts and tools.
The Apple tools available to customers on the Self Service Repair Store are the same as used by Apple’s repair network. They are custom designed to help provide the best repairs for Apple products, and are engineered to withstand the rigors of high-volume, professional repair operations where safety and reliability are the utmost priority. The high-quality tools offered through Self Service Repair include torque drivers, repair trays, display and battery presses, and more.
Apple will offer tool rental kits for $49, so that customers who do not want to purchase tools for a single repair still have access to these professional repair tools. The weeklong rental kits will ship to customers for free.
We were cautiously optimistic about the program in November. Anything that enables more people to do repairs is great news! But as the doors open on this new venue, we’re underwhelmed, and settling back into our usual skepticism.
The biggest problem? Apple is doubling down on their parts pairing strategy, enabling only very limited, serial number-authorized repairs. You cannot purchase key parts without a serial number or IMEI. If you use an aftermarket part, there’s an “unable to verify” warning waiting for you. This strategy hamstrings third-party repair with feature loss and scare tactics and could dramatically limit options for recyclers and refurbishers, short-circuiting the circular economy.
Also today, Apple published a paper, “Expanding Access to Safe, Reliable, and Secure Service and Repair,” which details Apple’s approach to designing long-lasting products and increasing access to repairs.