Apple is changing its stance on a user’s right to repair by selling DIY kits which include parts, tools and instructions on how to repair their products from home.
Apple’s new repair from the home initiative called “Self Service Repair” will start with iPhone 12 and 13 devices, after that repair kits for Macs with M1 chips will follow. Users who get their hands on the new repair kits will be able to replace their iPhone’s display, battery and camera. That’s not the limit to the repairs as other options will be available to users at a later date. The service will launch sometime early next year in the US. The repair program will launch in other countries at a later date.
Apple has been historically resistant to its devices being repaired outside its own stores, which include both its own customers and third-party repair companies. The iPhone company earlier this week rolled back software that would prevent Face ID from operating on a device if a user replaced their phone’s screen by themselves.
The program isn’t meant for everyday users as it’s being marketed to “individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices.” Apple adds that customers facing issues with their device should seek out a professional to fix it.
It’s a great first step to see Apple at least offering this option to users who are comfortable repairing their own devices. The act of repairing won’t void a device’s warrant, according to TechCrunch, but it’s a different story if the device is damaged while repairing.
iFixit’s director of sustainability, Elizabeth Chamberlain stated that Apple’s decision is “a remarkable concession to our collective competency” and that the move “invalidates many of the arguments Apple and other manufacturers have used against the right to repair”. Even though the move should be applauded, iFixit notes that the manufacturer’s shift comes with substantial caveats as it isn’t the “open-source repair revolution we’ve sought through our fight for the right to repair.” The program itself supports restrictions as users are required to buy parts directly from the company.
Apple’s Self Service Repair is set to launch in the US early next year with more 200 individual parts and tools. Pricing for the parts have not been announced.