Apple has historically been pretty obtuse when it comes to letting customers open up and repair their own devices, in the sense that: they haven’t. Traditionally, wannabe iPhone and Mac DIYers have had to source tools and parts from third parties, and fiddling around with your iPhone’s guts is generally a quick way to void its warranty.
That’s all about to change. Apple has announced that, from next year onwards, customers will be able to make use of ‘Self Service Repair’, which will provide them with “Apple genuine” (i.e. the ones they use in-house) tools and spare parts so they can fix their devices at home.
Naturally, there are a few caveats to this. For one, it only applies to newer products, such as the iPhone 12 and 13 lines to start with followed by the new M1 Macs later on. Because if you could keep your old devices running you wouldn’t have to buy new ones.
In a press release, the Californian tech monolith states that Self Service is intended for actual technicians with mobile repair experience and that your everyday consumer should probably just take their device to an iFixit. But as long as you think you know what you’re doing, you can still make use of it.
For the most part this looks like a pretty good-guy move but there’s a little shade to it. By getting in on the self-repair game, it kind of looks like Apple’s trying to monopolise yet another segment of its own market. That’s speculation but we wouldn’t call it unwarranted.
Prices on tools and parts aren’t out and about yet, but we’ll let you know when they are. Apple plans to roll Self Service Repairs out in the USA first, before expanding to the rest of the world later next year.