First announced in Nov. 2021, Apple launched its self-service repair program website on Wednesday. Owners of the iPhone SE (3rd-generation), iPhone 12, or iPhone 13 are now able to purchase parts and necessary tools to repair their devices, view official repair manuals, or even rent applicable tool kits.
A Step in the Right Direction for Right to Repair
The Cupertino-based company has been under increasing scrutiny over its repair practices lately. Legislation at the state and federal level could soon make it illegal for tech companies to continue practices preventing consumers from doing their own repair jobs. Apple’s self-service repair program is definitely a step in the right direction.
Through the just-launched website, consumers are able to view the official repair manual for the iPhone SE 3, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 product lineups. They can then determine whether display or battery replacement, or other repairs, is something they can handle on their own.
If the consumer decides they are, in fact, capable of following the repair instructions, Apple’s new website has what they need to get the job done. Some of the individual components customers can order parts to replace include the device’s battery, bottom speaker, camera, display, and Taptic Engine.
The site also allows consumers to purchase official Apple tools for disassembling and reassembling their devices. This is an absolute first for Cupertino, as these tools were previously only available to Apple-authorized repair technicians. Even better, Cupertino offers a rental service for the tools, allowing consumers a 7-day rental of the required tool kit for $49. This is crucial for one-time repairs, since the complete tool kit would otherwise cost nearly a thousand dollars.
If that seems like a steep cost, bear in mind what the toolkit includes. You receive a heated display removal fixture, display press, and battery press. These tools allow you to carry out the repairs exactly how Apple’s technicians would, making your device almost like new after repair.
A Comparison of DIY vs Apple Repair Services
The self-service option can come in handy for some, but it may not be ideal for all. In some cases, such as a battery replacement, it remains less expensive to let Apple do the job. The battery bundle of parts alone is $71 through the self-repair site, plus the cost of the toolkit rental. You could take your iPhone into Apple to have the battery serviced for just $69.
As another example, the iPhone 13 Pro display repair bundle costs $269, not including the necessary tools. Apple’s screen replacement service costs just $279, $10 more than the self -service cost. Renting the toolkit makes the self-service option more expensive than having Apple complete the work.
Of course, if you don’t have an Apple Store or Apple-authorized repair location nearby, the self-service route could prove very beneficial.
Important Information to Know About Apple’s Self-Service Repair Offering
Many of the repairs you can order parts for will require your device IMEI number. After the repair is done, you may need to complete a System Configuration step. This completes the process for genuine Apple parts. System Configuration does things like transfer certain factory calibration values for displays, cameras, and sensors. It’s also necessary to link new biometric sensors to the Secure Enclave on your iPhone.
Apple notes that System Configuration requires a strong Wi-Fi network capable of download and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps. The connection must also have less than 400ms latency and less than 2% packet loss.
Right now, the program only offers parts and tools for the most recent models of the iPhone. In the future, Cupertino says it will expand the service to Macs, too.