Apple announces the possibility of repairing an iPhone yourself with official parts, kits and guides

From 2022, you will be able to repair your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 yourself, but also your Mac M1 computer. Apple announces the arrival of a self-service repair service, to respond to requests for a right to repair for individuals. But beware, the initiative is not necessarily for everyone.

Is your iPhone in need of repair? From 2022, you will no longer necessarily need to go to an Apple store or to a specialized repairer, authorized or not. You can perform the procedure yourself, if you wish. Indeed, the American company has just announced, on November 17, the imminent arrival of a self-service repair service.

Initially, only two products will be eligible: the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13, as well as their various variations. But during 2022, it will also be possible to carry out a repair on the range of Mac computers equipped with the M1 chip. In the longer term, other products should join this program, starting with the future iPhones and Macs which will enrich the company’s catalog.

An exploded view of an iPhone, by iFixit. So, do you feel able to perform an intervention? // Source: iFixit

This self-service repair service will be carried out in successive stages: concerning its deployment itself, it is first in the United States that it will open its doors at the beginning of next year. Other countries will follow later, especially in Europe. Thus, French customers can, if they wish, also engage in hacking the iPhone to replace a defective or broken component.

« The initial phase of the program will focus on the most commonly repaired modules, such as iPhone screen, battery, and camera. The possibility of carrying out further repairs will be available later in the year Apple says. The details of the other interventions to which those who will not be afraid to tamper with their iPhone can engage is not given.

In this context, Apple will also sell more than 200 parts and tools to perform these interventions. Repair guides will also be provided by the company in order to accompany the public and guide them throughout the manipulation. Apple also insists on this point: ” In order for a customer to be able to perform a repair safely, it is important that they first consult the manual ».

How will all this happen on the individual side?

If he is eager to replace an element of his iPhone or Mac himself, here are the main steps that await him:

  • he will have to consult the user guide;
  • he must then order the parts and tools required in the official store dedicated to repairs;
  • he will then proceed to the intervention itself, relying on the manual;
  • he can then return the old parts for recycling;
  • he will be entitled to a voucher that he can use on a future purchase.

Apple plans to ensure that parts, tools, and manuals are available for at least the life of the affected products, which should give the public confidence that they will be able to perform component replacements for at least five to five hours. seven years. This is to be compared with the updates of iOS, to which devices released many years ago are entitled. However, Apple could in some cases extend the accessibility of its kits, depending on the state of its supply chains.

At first, Apple focused on two generations of iPhones and some Macs. In the longer term, other products should be eligible. // Source: Numerama / Louise Audry

One caveat, however: if Apple will allow the repair outside its network of stores and partners, that does not mean that everyone should do so, as a failure could adversely affect the product warranty. It will indeed be difficult to plead an original problem with your iPhone if you can guess the trace of a screwdriver that has gone through its entire printed circuit.

Self-service repair is intended for those ” having the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices », Comments the company. You are free to override it, but keep in mind that additional damage caused by hazardous handling may work against you – this may result in additional costs in the event of a return to the after-sales service.

Apple says it expects this initiative to primarily concern a minority. ” For the vast majority of customers, going to a professional repairer with certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair. “. Given the cost of some Apple brand products, we imagine that many will prefer to abstain.

Moreover, the iFixit service, which specializes in disassembling products, had already looked at the iPhone 13 and the iMac and considered that these two devices were not among those which are the easiest to repair, which accentuates the impression that it will not be within the reach of everyone. The fact remains that in France, this should allow Apple to gain a few points in the repairability index.

Apple assures its back against the right to repair

For a company that has often been the subject of criticism about a very closed and very proprietary ecosystem, but whose after-sales service is able to carry out repairs at moderate amounts, the implementation of this self-repair service service is a surprising initiative, but welcome. However, it must be seen in a broader context, because Apple must take into account certain substantive movements that may have important legal implications.

There are indeed significant demands in Europe and the United States for a right to reparation, in order to legalize the possibility for individuals to repair their electronic products themselves, without having to go through services (in particular paid) provided by the manufacturers of these devices. Apple did not always been in favor of this right.

Self-repair will likely affect a minority of the US company’s customers. But was that a reason to deny them this possibility? // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

However, the wind is turning across the Atlantic.

In July, the US president made arrangements to promote competition in the economy and, in the package of measures, instructions to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to write rules aiming to prohibit manufacturers from preventing repairs carried out by third parties, whether individuals or independent providers. In doing so, the establishment of this self-service repair service is also a way for Apple to ensure its back.

The advance that Apple is taking on the subject, where it was late, will not go unnoticed: will the competition play the imitation card? If this happens, the democratization of a new repair model for technological objects is confirmed.

The continuation in video


Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.

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