Apple wants to give me, you, us — everyone — access to genuine parts, tools, and training so we can have the option to self-serve our own repairs… if we so choose. But…
Because, according to chief-operating officer, Jeff Williams, who you may remember from product announcements like… the Apple Watch, this is all about creating greater access to Apple genuine parts and giving customers even more choice if a repair is needed.
But is is really? I’ll link the full announcement in the description below the like button, but let’s just break it down first.
This is an all-new, all… you.. self repair service. Which means, if you’re happy fixing your own devices, if you prefer it even, like, if you know what a pentalobe screw is, Apple will ship you the parts, the tools, and the how-tos, and you’ll be able to complete your own repair. That’s right, no more Tony Stark, in a cave, with scraps.
Which is major, because Apple, famously — infamously — kept every manual secret and every part locked down for… forever… until now. It’s like a new day dawning. Or at least starting to. Maybe!
Here’s how it’s work — you’ll go to the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store, review the repair manual to make sure you feel safe and comfortable with the process, and when and if you do, you’ll order the parts and tools you need. Apple’s legendary logistics should ensure a plentiful supply of everything is available pretty much always, so they’ll ship it all out to you and, when you’re done installing the new hotness, you’ll send the old broken back to Apple for a credit on your order. That way Apple can refurbish or recycle everything and anything they can, while you, me, MrBeast, and the rest of us keep working on #TeamSeas!
Now, this is very much a first step, so there are some important caveats: The Self Service Repair program is starting off in early 2022, in the US, and with iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 displays, batteries, and camera modules, which are the most common and frequent repairs. It WILL be expanding though, to other countries, other parts, and other products, most immediately the M1 Macs, over the course of the next year and more.
But to start, that’s 8 models of iPhone, including minis, Pros, and Pros Max… Pro Maxes? And over 200 parts and tools, with more to come.
And it really, truly, seriously is meant for the high-order bit techno-mechanic nerds out there — you know who you are — those of you who can strip and refit an iPhone in the field, in the dark, under stress fire from family or friends, faster than Linus can plug the latest water bottle. So, just be realistic about your skill level and if you’re more… diner than cook, just take your device to an Apple Store or trusted repair center, and save yourself a ton of extra effort and expense.
Because this ain’t Ikea. 3 screws left at the end aren’t ok, and jokes aside, Lithium Ion batteries aren’t anything to screw around with, not ever. So, if at all in doubt, go to a store or arrange to ship it out. Because qualified repairs are also available by mail.
But, personally, I really do love this, especially from a privacy perspective. Too often too many self-proclaimed repair gurus are flippant if not downright negligent about privacy, literally saying things like — if you go to a doctor, you can’t be afraid to drop your pants. And, well, sorry, doctors have years of certified training, are licensed, regulated, and get their malpractice sued off if they violate us or their oath. Our phones contain our entire lives on them, and trusted first and third party repair shops aside, the more we can keep our devices in our own hands, the better.
Now, all of this is also part of a multi-pronged approach from Apple, starting with making Apple devices more… unbreakable to begin with. From Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 12 and 13 to crack-resistant crystal on the Apple Watch Series 7, to stainless steel and aluminum meant to last way, way longer than plastics. But we don’t have any vibranium or adamantium or uru on this planet, at least not yet,
so Apple is also expanding guidelines around the usage and disclosure of 3rd party… parts at repair centers, so customers have more choice, but it’s informed choice. That, and Self-Service repair, means when something needs fixing, there are now more, better options to get it fixed.
So Self-Service repair, means when something needs fixing, there are now more, better options to get it fixed.
Will it make every right to repair and consumer protection advocate Elf-style smiling is my favorite level happy? Probably not. Will it address regulation of both vendors and indie repair shops, nope. Will have to wait and see how all of this plays out over the next year? You bet. But it does represent a fairly sizable turn of… never mind Apple’s ship, but their carrier group, and that ain’t nothing.