Apple self-repair policy – allow our genius to show (or does it?)

Apple has just announced its self-repair policy for iPhone 12 and 13 – it will enable owners to make their own repairs.

The Apple self-repair policy represents what looks like a 100% U-turn against its strident anti-right to repair policy. And details are pretty scarce.

  • For the US initially in 2022 with expansion to additional (unnamed) countries
  • iPhone 12 and 13 only – may extend to Mac M1 powered models later (time unspecified)
  • Likely initially limited to display, battery, and camera. More ‘modules’ may come later in 2022.
  • Customers will need to buy a genuine Apple Repair manual plus genuine parts and tools from the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store. No prices are available yet.
  • Customers should return the old parts for a ‘recycling’ credit
  • In reality, Self Service Repairs are “intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices”. There is no word on warranty implications if a user stuffs the repair, and there must be a disclaimer that Apple is not responsible in any way for contingent liabilities from Apple self-repair.

The image below (provided by Apple) shows that the tools include static mats, gloves, glasses, specialist screwdrivers, spudgers, device holders, suction cups, diagnostic software and more. Likely, the tools, manuals and the parts will make the repair economically unviable compared to Apple’s Authorised Service Providers – OK Genius.

We won’t get embroiled in politics, but we will point you to iFixit’s take on the issue.

A summary of iFixit’s take on Apple self-repair policy includes

  • Apple’s policy is purely to satisfy pending US Government legislation – it is not being altruistic
  • Getting in before legislation means it is setting the playing field
  • It is nowhere near what the Right to Repair movement wants
  • Lack of detail on pricing means its likely to be uncompetitive to self-repair
  • It could lead to Apple reducing the time they hold spares (approx five years) to a much shorter period

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