In Big Shift For Apple, Company Makes It Easier For Users To Repair Phones

from the took-you-long-enough dept

We had just got done noting that it didn’t seem like Apple had learned a whole lot from the last few years of “right to repair” backlash, making it harder to replace iPhone 13 screens. But not only did the company (partially) backtrack from that decision, they’ve made another shocking pivot: they’re actually making phone parts and documentation more accessible to Apple customers. The move, announced in a company press release, should make it significantly easier for Apple customers to repair their devices at home:

“Apple today announced Self Service Repair, which will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools…The initial phase of the program will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone display, battery, and camera. The ability for additional repairs will be available later next year.

Apple says this new “self service repair” program will be released first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, followed shortly thereafter by Mac computers featuring M1 chips starting early next year. From there it will slowly be expanded into additional countries. The program is generally aimed at users that have some idea of what they’re doing, and apparently won’t invalidate a device’s warranty (though if you break your device in the process that may be another matter).

Though there will surely be caveats, it’s still huge about-face for a company with a long history of attempting to monopolize repair, either by bullying independent repair shops, or lobbying against “right to repair” legislation by falsely claiming that broader repair options would harm public safety and turn some states into dangerous “meccas” for hackers.

Apple’s about-face here is clearly a response to the right to repair movement, a bipartisan grassroots coalition of annoyed consumers whose outrage has driven proposed legislation in more than a dozen states. The tighter Apple tried to lock down its repair options, the more negative press the company received, driving even more support for meaningful reform on this front. While the devil will be in the details, it appears that Apple executives may have finally realized the futile, cyclical nature of this uphill fight and finally decided to start doing the right thing… both for the environment and its customers.

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Companies: apple

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Comments on “In Big Shift For Apple, Company Makes It Easier For Users To Repair Phones”

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27 Comments
ECA (profile) says:

Security for security sakes

Just a matter of fact.
Keep adding hardware that is not NEEDED to make the phone and all its hardware WORK.
And you get a Piece of junk thats Slow and tedious And Costs 2-5 times as much as you had to customize things to the point that NOT even you can fix.

The corps decided to Force us to buy and buy and buy again, they got tired of us repairing things in the past, to make things LAST. Why we had clothing passed down a family for 2-3 kids before it WORE OUT(look up synthetics and how Hot dryers destroy your clothing)(then look up how Thin synthetics can be made for durability or not durable).

The idea was to raise the unemployment numbers to Prove we needed more jobs, More middlemen to fill these jobs. Insted of selling direct to stores, they had to sell to middlemen, that sold to the stores. Then we added layers of middlemen. Ones that bought in 1000’s, and another that did 100’s. the 1000’s middlemen could sell in large amounts, the the 100’s could sell in lower quantity at higher prices as he got them for the middlemen that sold 1000’s.
But a distribution center like these Does not need to be very large. so we really didnt increase the job market that much.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, you KNOW the self-repair kit will not only be more expensive than taking it to a dealer, but it will also completely void your warranty – if you screw up the phone while trying to repair it yourself, you’ll have to pay the full price for Apple to repair it, even if you have years left on the warranty.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m fine with companies like Apple and John Deere saying "If you try to repair the device we sold you, it’ll void the warranty", because they’re using the leverage they themselves put on rather than leverage they put because they lobbied the government to prohibit repairs. Besides, I use ancient devices from Nintendo and Sega from people who voided their warranty, so I can’t complain about the practice…

Bruce C. says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m not sure the ‘void your warranty’ threat has much leverage with the self-repair market.

If the phone is still under warranty and you are attempting self-repair at-cost, it must be a really lousy warranty in the first place, or you’ve already been denied warranty coverage for some reason. Otherwise you’d just let Apple repair and replace it for free.

Most people attempting these repairs will be folks who are either out-of-warranty, or have had enough bad experience with Apple customer service that the warranty has little or no value to them.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

True. People under warranty don’t do their own repair all that often even when they can and are capable.

And, like Samuel, I have no problem with (and support) you open it you own the work.

It’s nice to see this come out of apple.
Not so much in that it’s right to repair but in that apple products are so custom and so well designed it’s almost necessary to have a manual for some things. Fixing an iPhone isn’t fixing a Nokia candy bar.

And that’s still not the same as the Sega and Tandy and like equipment I’m constantly tinkering with.
iFixIt only goes so far.

I’m not stupid. I’m sure Apple is looking for a wave of botched repairs to say ‘told you so’.
Even that has a plus side to it. More people learning!
More people doing! Less talk and more action.

Oh, and a side order of finding out how close iFixIt actually gets compared with to apple!

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

Fear of Right to repair legislation drove this decision plain and simple. It was coming down to conform and change your ways or we will legislate it which is going to come I believe anyways because of all the anti fix it yourself companies that dont want you to fix it yourself ( hello John Deer et all )

The question is will Apple make the parts and toll reasonable to buy or will they be priced closed enough to what Apple will charge to fix it to make it a non starter for people who see the price to do it themselves as not much cheaper than to have Apple do it

There are a lot of ways companies will try and be within the right to repair legislation or to seem like they were complying before hand but there are dubious ways they can make it so it isn’t worth the hassle to repair it yourself by keeping the costs to do ir yourself high with parts ,tools, repair manuals etc

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Fear of Right to repair legislation drove this decision plain and simple.

But of course. After all, it was Frederick Douglass who said:

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

Source

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

The parts are now available, however starting today all new iPhones internals will be covered in our protective epoxy that binds to all the components to help dissipate heat & protect the chips.
Also any change in the epoxy will void the warranty & most likely will result in damage to the phone as the chips will no longer be surface mounted, they will have space underneath to allow the epoxy to fully encase.

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