Apple's Self Service Repair program updates make it easier for DIY fixers

in General Discussion edited June 2023

Alongside supporting more iPhone and Mac devices with its controversial Self Service Repair program, Apple is updating its software tools so repairers don't have to call to register parts.

An Apple repair toolkit
An Apple repair toolkit

Apple says that it has "over the past three years," it has "nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to genuine Apple parts and tools. Its formal Self Service Repair program only launched 14 months ago.

Since its initial launch with a limited number of eligible devices, Apple has steadily expanded the program to more iPhones and Macs, and to more countries. It continues to be less than right-to-repair advocates were hoping, though.

Now from June 21, 2023, Apple says that it is expanding its program to include repair options for:

  • The iPhone 14 lineup

  • 13-inch MacBook Air M2

  • MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro

  • MacBook Pro models with M2 Max

  • Mac desktops with M1 (in specific countries)

  • True Depth camera for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 linups

  • Top speaker for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 linups

Apple notes that the True Depth, speaker, and M1 desktop Mac options will be available at launch in the US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

It's not clear whether this is a full list of the newly-eligible devices, but it's notable that it does not as yet include the 15-inch MacBook Air.

"Apple will also make the System Configuration process used for iPhone repairs, such as displays, batteries, and cameras, even easier to use," said Apple in a statement. "System Configuration is a postrepair software tool that ensures repairs with genuine Apple parts -- designed and tested to internationally recognized standards -- were completed correctly, and the parts are working properly."

One key improvement to System Configuration is that users will be able to run app without having to contact Self Service Repair support. Although, Apple notes that "the team will still be available to assist as needed."

This is the biggest change in the whole program since it launched. Rather than repairs requiring a final step to be performed by this Apple support team, users "can now initiate System Configuration by placing their devices into Diagnostics mode and following onscreen prompts."

How Self Service Repair works

Not all Apple devices can be repaired using the program, and far from every type of repair is allowed on those that do qualify. Primarily, Apple's Self Service Repair for iPhones is for:

  1. Batteries

  2. Bottom speaker

  3. Camera

  4. Display

  5. SIM Tray

  6. Taptic engine

With these and similar repair jobs for the Mac, the process starts with looking at what is available on Apple's official repair site.

In each case, Apple sells replacement parts and rents out the tools in which to use them. It also requires that users return the faulty parts to Apple.

So for one example, in order to repair the display on an iPhone 13 Pro, users initially pay $269.96 for a Display Bundle. Once the faulty or damaged display is returned to Apple, the user can expect a refund of $33.60.

It is possible to buy only specific parts, instead of a bundle. For instance, two security screws can be bought for 20 cents.

However, users also require a set of tools. The right set of tools for the specific repair must be rented from Apple for seven days, at a cost of $50.

Not for casual users

The complexity of repair work, and the high cost of the parts, means that Apple's Self Service Repair program is not practical for individuals who just scratched their display. As expensive as going to an authorized Apple repairer can be, that will remain the most economic route in terms of cost, time, and the risk of damaging devices further.

Consequently, the new expansion is unlikely to reduce criticism of the program, which centers on how Apple arguably makes repairs arduous. Nonetheless, it has led to Apple's devices becoming more repairable.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 3
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,840member
    Personally, I'd rather just have Apple fix it for me. I'd rather not screw something up in the process. I know some people like to tinker but I just don't see the value in taking shit apart to try and fix it just to save a buck or two. I'd just rather have Apple do it. Then if they screw it up they fix it and not say well you're screwed because you broke something in the process. Or, maybe I thought I did it right but screwed up with sealing the phone back up so it's not water tight anymore, finding out the hard way down the road. 

    I recently had my AppleWatch Series 6 replaced for free under AppleCare+ for a battery issue. It was all done online, quick and very easy to do. I'm super impressed with how Apple does this. After I entered in CC for a hold they overnighted by a replacement watch which was all ready to be setup. Wiped the old watch and sent it back with the prepaid shipping label included in the box. 
    edited June 2023 gprovida
  • Reply 2 of 3
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 258member
    The performance (weight, size, mechanical durability, environmental durability (moisture, temp, etc.) is best achieved with integrated design, that is more complicated to repair user or pro. This is the trade off 99.99% of buyers accept, just like modern cars.  The days of home repair are gone, and good riddance.  Just like making or modifying your own PC and car as well as all home appliances. 

    Yes, 3rd parties should have access to tools, parts, instructions, … to repair vs going to original seller (e.g., car dealer ship) but easy home casual user should not be required.  

    Regarding environmental issues: high standards on sourcing materials, simple easy re-cycling of devices, cables, parts, etc., should be required up to and including simple mail in or drop off. A good model is printers accepted and then recycled by sellers.  

    Apple is pretty good on all these points, although improvements are desirable, e.g., home pickup of devices etc., for recycling e.g., computers printers, and displays as well as reporting progress in recycling.  Aluminum can deposit and refunds are example especially with regards to ALL devices and batteries. This would be more effective and create others to provide this service. 

    Idiotic rules on requiring battery easy replacement (with all the size, performance, tech innovation barriers, etc) or mandating connectors are not effective, add costs, and hinder innovation.  We’d still have parallel and scsi interfaces on devices hindering USB, FIREWIRE, USB C, WIRELESS CHARGING, NO AUDIO CONNECTORS, LITTLE WI-FI STUCK WITH ETHERNET, ….  Even casual look at innovation shows nearly nothing advances with mandatory regulations. Rare and special exceptions e.g., ac outlets, house/home wiring, etc., are not models for rapid tech innovation or even cost containment. 
  • Reply 3 of 3
    y2any2an Posts: 195member
    Nonetheless, it has led to Apple's devices becoming more repairable
    It’s easy to think that, but I think the need to expand production outside of China forced the need to make devices easier to assemble - and as a consequence, easier to repair. This illustrates Apple’s long range planning. Designing for easier assembly had to have started 2-3 years ago, at least, so they have bern implementing the product part of a plan for assembly in other countries for at least that long. Assembly in India isn’t happening fast just because, but because it’s been the goal for s long time. 
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