Apple will start selling parts to let iPhone or Mac users repair their own devices, a big win for right-to-repair movement
In July, we wrote about Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak after he announced his support for the “Right To Repair” movement, an advocacy group that allows consumers the right to repair their own devices. Wozniak made the remarks during a Cameo video appearance in response to “Right to Repair” advocate Louis Rossman.
Now, about four months later, Apple announced today it will start letting consumers complete some of their technology repairs at home. According to the announcement, customers can ask for access to Apple parts and tools, starting early next year in the U.S. through its Self Service Repair program. The move is a big win for “right-to-repair” advocates and is an about-face for the iPhone maker.
The Right to Repair movement, which has now become a battle between big tech companies and the people who use their products, is proposed government legislation that would allow consumers the ability to repair and modify their own consumer electronic devices. In a statement Apple said:
“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.”
Apple also added that 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.
Over the years, repair shops and lobbyists who support repair reform have called on lawmakers to implement a variety of rules that would allow for increased access to manuals and official parts. With millions of dollars being made from selling its AppleCare+ service subscription, Apple has consistently lobbied against allowing customers to fix their own products over the years, specifically citing concerns with safety or performance issues from third-party parts.
Apple said the new service will be available for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 in the U.S. The company planned to later expand the service to users of Macs that run on the Apple M1 chip. According to Apple, customers can buy parts through Apple’s self-service repair online store and orders will include a repair manual. Users who return their used parts later for recycling can receive a credit toward their purchase.
“Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices,” the company said in a release. “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.”
Apple also has an “Independent Repair Program,” which allows repair shops to enter into a certification process and contract with Apple to get access to authentic Apple tools and manuals. But many products remained challenging to repair at home or without contact with Apple. Apple hasn’t yet said how much the parts will cost.
Below is a video of Louis Rossmann Right to Repair testimony in Washington SB 5799.