Apple opens its self-service repair service in the United States

US consumers can now buy spare iPhone parts from Apple to repair their device themselves. Five months after its surprise announcement, Apple has just opened its Self Service Repair Store in the United States, in other words its self-service repair shop.

Apple’s Self Service Repair Store. Technically, it is used by a partner, SPOT (Service Parts or Tools, Inc.), which seems to have been assembled from scratch for the occasion.

After struggling for years against the right to repair, Apple finally offers its customers everything necessary to carry out common repairs. Its new store includes more than 200 spare parts and tools for iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and 3rd generation iPhone SE. The program will be extended later this year to Apple Silicon Macs and will be exported to other countries, starting with Europe.

The spare parts and tools sold are the same as those used in Apple Stores and the Apple Authorized Repair Network. Parts are sold to consumers at the same price as to professional repairers. At the same time, Apple has just published free access to the repair manuals for the iPhones concerned by the program (iPhone SE 3, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 13, etc.).

The Self Service Repair Store looks like a very generic store, but it does sell Apple-certified parts.

For some repairs, customers can return used components and receive purchase credit. An iPhone 12 battery replacement kit (battery, screws, and adhesives) costs $70.99, for example. By returning his used battery, the customer will obtain a credit of $24.15. Apple also offers a complete kit of tools for rent at $49 for customers who do not want to acquire the (expensive) machines required.

Before placing an order, customers must provide the serial number or IMEI number of their iPhone, as well as a six-digit code found in the repair manual. It’s a way for Apple to verify that the amateur repairer has read the instructions before playing with the screwdriver.

For some components like the battery, customers will need to contact Apple by discuss or by phone after component replacement to finalize the repair. Some operations require software checks.

Excerpt from the iPhone 13 repair manual

The manufacturer repeats that for the vast majority of its customers, it always recommends going to the Apple Store or an authorized repairer in the event of a problem. This program is primarily intended for people comfortable with the repair of electronic devices. The warranty is not affected by a self-service repair, “Nevertheless any problem or damage repaired by the customer during the repair will not be covered by Apple”, warns the manufacturer. So you have to be sure of yourself before you start.

The fact remains that it is a monumental reversal of the situation in the maintenance policy of Apple, which had rather used until then to put spokes in the wheels of DIYers and independent repairers.

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