This just in: Apple has announced that it intends to begin making spare parts, tools and repair manuals available to consumers from next year for some of it’s more recent products.
To be honest, this seems like quite a stunning U-turn from a company notorious for its anti-repair practices. Here are some of the key details they announced today:
- Devices: The new scheme will cover more recent products, starting with iPhone 12 & 13 models followed by M1-powered computers. No word on support for older devices.
- Parts: Initially, they will offer what they claim are the most commonly serviced parts, such as the iPhone display, battery, and camera. They promise additional components later in 2022, but it will be telling to see how limited/extensive this turns out to be (and how much they cost!)
- Process: Here’s what they say about how consumers will be able to access parts and manuals: “To ensure a customer can safely perform a repair, it’s important they first review the Repair Manual. Then a customer will place an order for the Apple genuine parts and tools using the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store. Following the repair, customers who return their used part for recycling will receive credit toward their purchase.”
This all sounds promising, but we’ve been burnt before; Apple’s programme for independent repair shops also promised big things, but has ultimately been disappointing.
In today’s announcement they reference this programme a lot, which perhaps doesn’t bode well. There’s also this possible red flag:
Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices. For the vast majority of customers, visiting a professional repair provider with certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair.
Find the full announcement here:
I’m hoping for the best here, but reserving judgement until I see the nitty gritty details on this one. What do you make of it?
EDIT: I’ll maintain a list of notable/interesting coverage here:
- Restart’s official take on the news (cross-posted from the EU campaign)
- iFixit’s reaction (useful summary of some of the caveats)
- 9to5 Mac’s summary (contextualises this in relation to possible upcoming regulatory pressure)
- Marques Browlee’s video breaking it down
- Louis Rossman’s video (once burned, twice shy!)
- iFixit founder Kyle Wiens’ personal take
- Cory Doctorow’s take