Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Apple Self Service Repair Now Available

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Apple today announced Self Service Repair is now available, providing repair manuals and genuine Apple parts and tools through the Apple Self Service Repair Store. Self Service Repair is available in the US and will expand to additional countries — beginning in Europe — later this year.

The new online store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools, enabling customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices to complete repairs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and iPhone SE (3rd generation), such as the display, battery, and camera. Later this year the program will also include manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Mac computers with Apple silicon.

Stephen Hackett:

The manuals needed for repairs are published on Apple’s support website but the Self Service Repair store can be found at I was expecting these parts to be sold on Apple’s website, but the company has decided to spin this secondary website up for purchasing parts and tools.

The site is decidedly different from Apple’s own. The design is basic and feels pretty cheap.

(When’s the last time you saw Apple use Roboto for a typeface?)

Elizabeth Chamberlain:

While it’s a great step for repair, and a change of course for the mighty Apple, the program doesn’t do what Right to Repair legislation around the world aims to do. A true right to repair will give independent repair shops a chance to compete in the repair marketplace, bringing down the cost of repairs for everyone. Unfortunately, this program expands the freedom to repair with one hand, while locking the door with the other. Integrating a serial number check into their checkout process is a dire omen and could allow Apple the power to block even more repairs in the future. Building the technology to provision individual repairs easily sets Apple up as the gateway to approve—or deny—any repairs in the future, with parts from any source.

Jason Koebler:

Most interestingly and most excitingly, we are finally getting an official look at the repair tools and repair guides that Apple’s own stores and technicians use. Even these tools aren’t outrageously priced. A “heated display removal fixture,” used to take off the screen costs $256.35, which is a lot of money for a single repair but perhaps more reasonable if you’re a small business doing screen replacements every day. Apple is also letting customers rent a giant toolkit for $50, which is a fun idea and is similar to what places like Auto Zone do for car repairs.


It’s not all great news, however. As we’ve pointed out before, these corporate-led repair initiatives are not a replacement for right to repair legislation. Apple is voluntarily offering this program and is still setting the terms for which repairs it is willing to sanction and which parts it is willing to sell.


Update (2022-05-09): Benjamin Mayo:

Pricing of parts vary, depending on the repair and device type. For example, an iPhone 13 Pro display repair bundle is priced at $269. A battery bundle is $71. For context, you can actually get your iPhone battery serviced through Apple for slightly less money; only $69. An Apple screen replacement service of an iPhone 13 costs $279, only $10 more than the Self Service cost.

Juli Clover:

We were curious how the Self Service Repair program works and how it compares to the simplicity of bringing a product in to Apple for repair, so we had MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera order up a repair kit to replace the battery of his iPhone 12 mini.

Dave Mark:

Is the Self Repair Program Apple addressing a need, filling in a gap? Or is it a PR move, staving off criticism/punitive legislation?

No matter the motive, if I ran an indie repair shop, I’d be happy this existed. Perfect? No. But IMO, a move in the right direction.

Quinn Nelson:

Apple launched its SSR program with 97 lbs of tools shipped in a Pelican case just to perform the simplest repair. Does the tools Apple uses in store really make a difference or are they overkill? In this video, we find out.

Via Jesper:

The entire experience is a confounding mix of thoughtful little touches and issues being solved with a ridiculous, over-the-top sledgehammer approach, more or less because Apple can afford it.

Update (2022-12-06): Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple today announced Self Service Repair is now available in eight European countries, providing repair manuals and genuine Apple parts and tools through the Apple Self Service Repair Store. Customers who wish to complete their own repairs will be able to perform many of the most common repairs for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, and Mac notebooks with Apple silicon.

Nick Heer:

But while you can buy parts for M1 Mac laptops and those older iPhone models, parts for desktop Macs, M2 models, and the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro remain unavailable.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

It's not perfect, but it's a good start. Once they add Mac parts to this repair service, I'll feel pretty great about it. I recently moved to a location which is a five hour drive from the nearest Apple Store (and the Apple Store is the only place I trust to actually perform hardware repairs on my devices.) This could definitely save me some travel.

Ghost Quartz

I’m honestly surprised they were willing to even spin this program up in the first place; I assume it was partly to stave off right-to-repair legislation that they would certainly find disagreeable. And I’m guessing that without a legislative push, or pressure from competitors, this is the best we’ll get.

The website is… well, I expected to see something on the Apple Store or AppleCare websites. The Apple Support page for self-service repair states, “the online store is operated by a third-party provider authorized by Apple to sell genuine Apple parts and tools.” This probably explains the use of Roboto, Material icons, and separate login system.

The footer has a logo for something called “SPOT”, version 8145.5, and the privacy policy indicates the legal entity is “Service Parts or Tools, Inc. (‘SPOT’).” The contact and privacy pages direct users to an email address at servicepartsortools[.]com, which is a parked domain (lol).

I can’t help but feel that Apple has intentionally distanced itself from this program to discourage use. I’d be very hesitant to enter my serial number on this site without the benefit of a link directly from Apple’s domain. Why can’t I order parts for devices associated with my account directly from the AppleCare website? That said, it’s never been clear to me why AppleCare service is also provided by third-party vendors.

Apple: "Here be dragons!"

As an engineer, I understand the need for safety and precision. But it's a little funny how spooky they're trying to make fixing your own stuff.

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