Apple customers have been begging for years to be able to fix their own iPhones when something goes wrong with them. Apple finally complied – at least to some extent – when it announced a self-service repair program in November 2021. The program lets iPhone owners purchase the necessary parts and tools to take care of the job themselves.
You Can Thank Politics
"Right to repair" legislation has been proposed and passed in several states in recent years. The idea behind these laws is that consumers should not be forced to pay someone else to do something they can do themselves or pressured into purchasing new replacement products instead.
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Then the federal government got involved. President Biden signed an executive order in mid-2021 asking the Federal Trade Commission to force manufacturers of various products to allow consumers to repair their own devices, and the FTC complied. Apple was initially resistant but has now taken steps in that direction.
When Will This Program Be Available?
Self-service repair will be available to Apple iPhone owners in the U.S. beginning early in 2022. Apple has indicated that it intends to extend the option to repair their own devices to owners in other countries a little later in the year. You can purchase the tools and replacement parts you'll need directly from Apple.
Unfortunately, Apple self-service repair won't be an across-the-board option for all iPhone owners. The initial launch of the repair program is only available for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models.
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You're probably better off paying someone else to repair your smartphone if you're not particularly tech-savvy.
Who Can Use DIY Fix Options?
You won't be able to fix all components and problems with your Apple iPhone right away, either. The initial rollout of the program is focused on the modules of the phone that most commonly need repair. This includes the camera, the battery and screen/display issues. But Apple has indicated that it will add on from there later next year.
How to Do It Yourself
Apple warned in its announcement that its DIY program might not be the best option for every consumer. You should have "the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices," which can leave many iPhone owners out of the loop. Apple acknowledges that and it urges all others to stick with "certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts" to achieve a reliable and safe fix.
Apple will provide you with a repair manual if you think your skills and experience are sufficiently up to the task. You can use it to diagnose your problem and identify what parts and tools you'll need to make it right. The iFixit website provides repair guides for Apple phones as well.
Apple has even opened a new online store for the express purpose of ordering and buying the necessary parts and tools. More than 200 parts and tools will be made available.
How Much Does This Cost?
Apple won't be providing these parts and tools for free. It's up to you to purchase them from its store, and prices aren't yet available as of late 2021. The company does indicate, however, that you can return your phone's broken/malfunctioning parts and it will credit them toward your purchase price.
You Still Have the Old Options
You're probably better off paying someone else to repair your smartphone if you're not particularly tech-savvy. Apple has pretty much doubled the number of its authorized service providers since 2019. They now number more than 5,000 around the world. You also still have the option of taking your phone to an Apple store or to an independent repair shop that has access to Apple parts and tools.
Consider also: Your Smartphone Is Not Destroying Your Family