Apple's Self Repair Program vs. Genius Bar: What it costs to fix an iPhone 13

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 27
iPhone users can repair their device in-home with certified tools provided by Apple, but it'll cost you not just money, but time too. Here's what you'll spend trying to fix a broken iPhone 13.

Customers can repair their iPhone at home, but at a high cost
Customers can repair their iPhone at home, but at a high cost


Apple has finally opened up its Self Service Repair program where individuals can order genuine Apple parts and tools. Previously, a customer's only options were Apple, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or non-authorized repair centers.

The Self Service Repair Store is set up as a filtering tool so customers can select the exact device they'd like to repair and what repair is needed. There are six repair types for the iPhone 13: battery, bottom speaker, camera, display, SIM tray, and Taptic Engine.

Below, we'll compare how much it will cost someone to repair an iPhone 13 themselves versus going to an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Out-of-warranty repairs will include the cost of parts and labor, while those who spend the $149 for AppleCare+ generally get massive discounts or free repairs.

In some cases, the Apple Store might be able to swap out a damaged part at a lower cost. The actual quoted cost of repair may vary between online, in-person, and third-party repair locations. The extent of damage to the device may also affect the repair price.

Parts and tools needed for the iPhone 13 self repair

You'll need to order any parts for the repair and can purchase any tools required for the job. Specific repair jobs have individual parts that can be ordered or bundles that don't offer any savings, just convenience.

Rent a tool kit for only $49
Rent a tool kit for only $49


Customers who only need the repair tools for one job don't have to spend the $1,000 it would cost to own them. Apple offers a tool rental kit for each device repair. The rental for one week costs $49, and Apple will place a temporary authorization on your credit card for the value of a full replacement of the tool kit.

For example, AppleInsider placed an order for the iPhone 13 Pro repair kit and the temporary authorization was $1,272. This amount will vary based on which tool kit is selected, as the iPhone SE repair kit doesn't include as many tools.

Contents of the iPhone 13 tool kit

  • Heated Display Removal Fixture
  • Heated Display Pocket
  • Battery Press
  • Display Press
  • 6.1-inch Repair Tray
  • Adhesive Cutter
  • Nylon Probe (Black Stick)
  • Display Adhesive Press Plate
  • Display Protective Cover
  • Back Protective Cover
  • Black Torque Driver Kit
  • Gray Torque Driver
  • Green Torque Driver
  • Blue Torque Driver
  • Micro Stix Bit
  • Super screw Bit

Replacing an iPhone 13 battery

If a customer goes to an Apple Authorized Service Provider, a standard out-of-warranty battery replacement will cost $69 for the iPhone 13. AppleCare+ customers get the battery replacement for free, when performed at an Apple Store, by Apple technicians.

The battery replacement for self-service repair
The battery replacement for self-service repair


The Self Service Repair Program will cost $49 just to rent the necessary tools for the job plus the battery repair parts. Apple sells a bundle of parts for $70.99 and will give the customer a $24.15 return credit after giving Apple the old battery.
  • Battery & screw kit = $69
  • Security Screw (2 pieces) = $0.20
  • Display Adhesive (2 pieces) = $1.80
The total cost of ordering the necessary parts, renting a tool kit, and then returning the old battery for a rebate is $95.84. The customer will need to perform the repair and then contact Apple to conduct a System Configuration to complete the repair.

If you already have the necessary tools to complete the job and don't need to rent a kit, then the cost is only $46.84. Of course, this means you'd own $1,000 worth of equipment to complete the occasional repair with a version of the tools that Apple uses in-house instead of paying the company $69 to get it done by an official repair technician.

Replacing the iPhone 13 bottom speaker

Apple doesn't provide detailed pricing for every repair, so that a bottom speaker repair may fall under the "Other Damage" category. Out-of-warranty repair would be $449, while AppleCare+ customers would pay $99.

The speaker replacement for self-service repair
The speaker replacement for self-service repair


The bundle of parts for an iPhone 13 bottom speaker replacement is $43.64. Again, add that to the cost of renting the tools needed for disassembling an iPhone 13.
  • Bottom Speaker = $38.35
  • Security Screw (2 Pieces) = $0.20
  • Universal Screw Kit = $3.30
  • Display Adhesive (2 pieces) = $1.80
The total cost for iPhone 13 bottom speaker self-repair would be $92.64, including the tool rental, and there is no rebate for this repair job.

Replacing the iPhone 13 camera

Apple doesn't provide pricing for replacing an iPhone 13 camera at an authorized service center, but it may fall under the "other damage" category. So, out-of-warranty repair costs would be $449, and AppleCare+ customers would pay a $99 repair fee according to Apple's support website.

The replacement camera module
The replacement camera module


The bundle of parts for an iPhone 13 camera replacement is $117.04. Apple offers a $52.50 rebate if the original camera module is returned.
  • Camera = $111.75
  • Security Screw (2 Pieces) = $0.20
  • Universal Screw Kit = $3.30
  • Display Adhesive (2 pieces) = $1.80
The total cost for iPhone 13 camera self-repair would be $113.54 after returning the original camera for a rebate and renting tools to do the job. Apple needs to be contacted after the repair is complete to perform a System Configuration and proper part serialization.

Replacing the iPhone 13 display

A cracked display is one of the most common problems an iPhone user can have. Out-of-warranty screen repair for the iPhone 13 is $279, and AppleCare+ customers pay $29.

iPhone 13 display replacement parts
iPhone 13 display replacement parts


The bundle of parts for an iPhone 13 display replacement is $269.95. Apple offers a $33.60 rebate if the original display is returned.
  • Display and Screw Kit = $267.96
  • Security Screw (2 Pieces) = $0.20
  • Display Adhesive (2 pieces) = $1.80
The total cost for iPhone 13 display self-repair would be $285.35 after returning the original display and renting the tools from Apple. After the repair is complete, Apple will need to be contacted to perform a System Configuration.

Replacing the iPhone 13 Taptic Engine

The replacement taptic engine for self-service repair
The replacement taptic engine for self-service repair


Apple doesn't break out the cost of Taptic Engine repair on its service website, so it may fall under the other damage category of repair. That means out-of-warranty repair could be $449, and AppleCare+ customers would pay $99.

The bundle of parts for an iPhone 13 Taptic Engine replacement is $43.64 with no chance for a rebate.
  • Taptic Engine = $38.35
  • Security Screw (2 Pieces) = $0.20
  • Universal Screw Kit = $3.30
  • Display Adhesive (2 pieces) = $1.80
The total cost for iPhone 13 Taptic Engine self-repair would be $92.64.

Replacement iPhone 13 SIM trays

If a SIM tray is lost or damaged, Apple will let customers order a replacement tray for $7.20 in the correct color. A SIM-eject tool is also available for purchase for $4.00.

Apple's Self Service Repair Store versus Apple Authorized Service Provider

Apple urges customers with access to Apple Stores or authorized service centers to take advantage of the expert repair. The cost-benefit of doing so relies on multiple factors, including whether or not the customer has AppleCare+ or sufficient experience repairing electronics.

For a skilled few, self-repair is the best option since losing access to devices for days or weeks for mail-in repair may be impossible. Also, private entities will be able to offer non-authorized repair easier since tools and parts are easily sourced directly from Apple.

Importantly, if the self-repairer breaks the iPhone further during the repair process, the cost of any follow-on repairs are entirely the responsibility of the user. The iPhone interior is cramped, and there are many small pieces which can easily break, so we strongly recommend an honest self-assessment of skill level before the repair-at-home method is attempted.

Customers will need to weigh their options when deciding if they'd like to use Apple's official channels or attempt a repair on their own. At least, with Apple's Self Service Repair Program, there will be more options than ever.

Read on AppleInsider
Graeme000
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.
    elijahggrandact73williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 26
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.
    With all due respect, don’t buy Apple then. 
    mwhitedewmeJapheypscooter63lkruppwilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 26
    macbootx said:
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.
    With all due respect, don’t buy Apple then. 
    What a great and informative post. Blame the poster and not Apple. It seems that Apple’s Jedi mind trips are working as planned. 
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgpscooter63indieshackmichelb76grandact73williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 26
    Damn if they do and damn if they don’t.    
    mwhitemacbootxlkruppwilliamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 26
    A bloody farce.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 26
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.
    The camera pricing in the Article includes wording that the author is speculating it would normally cost the “other damage” fee. Nope. No Apple or service provider will charge that. That fee is for something like liquid damage where the whole phone gets swapped out. 
    stompymike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 26
    pichaelpichael Posts: 45member
    Having had an out of warranty camera repair on my iPhone 12 it cost £69 in an Apple Store. Just because the price isn’t listed doesn’t mean there isn’t a cheaper option available when you go there. 

    This all just smacks of the same old spoilt baby (entitled) routine in most of the world today. Wanting things cheaper, thinking they are going to save a buck by being able to do it themselves but then the reality is the parts have a cost, the expertises/parts have a cost and ultimately once it’s here it’s actually no better off. I see third party app stores and payment systems going the same way. 
    foregoneconclusionpscooter63mike1williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 26
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,661member
    This was completely predictable. They could force Apple to sell the parts, but not force them to price them reasonably. Take the battery replacement as an example - the parts cost is listed at just over $70. The cost to have apple to the swap is $69 and that includes the labor and overhead costs. I fixit sells complete battery replacement kits that include the accessory tools for less than $45 (and they're making profit on those) so my guess is Apple's marking up their parts at least 30% not the big question - will apple finally get rid of those stupid pentalobe screws?
    elijahgindieshackwilliamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 26
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 402member
    macbootx said:
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.
    With all due respect, don’t buy Apple then. 
    There is no respect in your reply.
    indieshackmuthuk_vanalingammichelb76grandact73williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 26
    Apple charges outrageous pricing for repairs, then they try to look like they are being consumer friendly by offering consumers a way to repair the phone at home but the price of the repair kit is even more outrageous.  As one poster said "don't buy Apple".  I could not agree more.  I thought when that miserable little man Steve Jobs died it would get better but his "the consumer is stupid so let's make them pay" legacy lives on.  And all the people who are apple fanatics are still lining up and pissing themselves with excitement when Apple releases a "NEW" iPhone that has not really changed but costs even more.  I guess Jobs was right in a way, some people are stupid and deserve to pay.
    indieshackwilliamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 26
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 299member
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.
    The most expensive part of a repair can be the labor cost, depending on difficulty to do the job. Since both the camera module and bottom speaker repairs show great disparity between the raw parts cost and what Apple charges, I would assume those are time-consuming repairs. For other repairs, what Apple charges is very reasonable vs. self-repair costs. 

    I'm thrilled that Apple Self-Repair is finally here... not because I'd do it myself, but to stop the endless whining for such a program. Of course, it won't stop there. Next: cue the complaints from the self-repair crowd as they ruin their devices and demand that Apple repair them for free. 
    dewmestompypscooter63beowulfschmidtsconosciutowatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 26
    So if someone wants to go into business fixing iPhones with genuine Apple tools they can just rent the tool kit, not return it and pay the penalty fee?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 26
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,309member
    Apple's devices, like all other phone vendor's devices, are designed to be easily manufactured very quickly and in high volumes using as little material as possible and to be as lightweight and thin and aesthetically pleasing as possible. These devices are not designed to be easily repaired - period. They are designed to be used until they are no longer working or are obsolete, whichever happens to come first, then disassembled and ground up for recycling.

    These special repair kits and high cost of replacement parts do little more than further reveal just how utterly difficult performing repairs on these devices really is. Yeah, they are technically repairable, wink wink, but doing so is never going to be a great experience for those who take on the task, whether inside Apple, in a repair shop, or a DIY user willing to take on the challenge. I'm sure that Apple and every other phone vendor could make phones that are far easier to repair if users didn't mind having a phone that's 4 inches wide and at least an inch thick. 

    For the vast majority of consumers their best bet is to purchase a warranty like Apple Care that covers repairs for the duration of time they plan on keeping the device. Yes this means the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is much higher than the original device cost, but what else is new? The necessary service plan and app purchases/subscriptions are also a big hit on the TCO. Using these things has never been cheap, but it's not like you don't see plenty of sub-tweeners, tweeners, and teenagers running around with brand new iPhones festooned with all kinds of camera lenses and features that put my "old" Xs Max to shame.  

    If we were truly worried about landfills and e-waste we'd be instituting mandatory (or cost incentivized) recycling programs like some states have done for auto tires, car batteries, etc. Perhaps Apple and other vendors will be more successful with device subscriptions that put repair and recycling responsibilities on the vendor, which would increase recycling compliance and ensure users always have a working device in their hand even if the replacement device is a professionally refurbished unit.  

    pscooter63loquiturStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 26
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.
    The camera pricing in the Article includes wording that the author is speculating it would normally cost the “other damage” fee. Nope. No Apple or service provider will charge that. That fee is for something like liquid damage where the whole phone gets swapped out. 
    If you do a mail in repair to Apple, your repair options are battery replacement, screen replacement, or whole unit repair. Mail in repairs do NOT give you any other options.  It allows Apple to simplify the repair quote, but means the more simple repairs cost a bundle.

    Legit repair shops need to charge reasonable prices to cover their overhead. Things like battery replacements are not profitable to be done if you use Apple parts and charge the same price as Apple does.  Other repairs can be somewhat profitable because now the shops can charge reasonable labor rates to work on the devices.
    indieshackwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 26
    Wesley HilliardWesley Hilliard Posts: 70member, moderator, editor
    The camera pricing in the Article includes wording that the author is speculating it would normally cost the “other damage” fee.
    Apple doesn't list the cost, nor does it have one available. I reached out to ask and they said there isn't a cost they can quote directly. I was clear in the article stating that since Apple doesn't define the cost, it falls into the "other" category. I didn't want to speculate in the text, but I assume this category is a catch all with an upper limit of $449.

    that means that Apple would likely do the repair for $120 or so, but I can't just throw in a number even Apple couldn't tell me. So I stated the disclaimer at the start "some repairs could be cheaper."

    Just in case you were wondering. Sorry if the text doesn't make that clear. Just not something we can just make up when there's no data available, so we used the data Apple provided on the website, with a big asterisk.
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 26
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 999member
    Damn if they do and damn if they don’t.    
    Won't someone think of the trillionaires!!!
    indieshackwilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 26
    Not bad. Parts could be cheaper and if they offered parts for older devices that’d be great, but better than I expected
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 26
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,999member
    Even with Apples inflated parts cost, the camera replacement example illustrates just how outrageous Apples standard repair pricing is.

    How so? Roughly $120 in parts. The rest is labor, overhead and profit.
    Nothing outrageous about that at all.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 26
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,999member
    MplsP said:
    This was completely predictable. They could force Apple to sell the parts, but not force them to price them reasonably. Take the battery replacement as an example - the parts cost is listed at just over $70. The cost to have apple to the swap is $69 and that includes the labor and overhead costs. I fixit sells complete battery replacement kits that include the accessory tools for less than $45 (and they're making profit on those) so my guess is Apple's marking up their parts at least 30% not the big question - will apple finally get rid of those stupid pentalobe screws?

    Ridiculous argument. Like comparing factory car parts to Auto Zone. Of course, the third-party would offer cheaper, non-factory parts.
    williamlondonauxioStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 26
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 299member
    mike1 said:

    Ridiculous argument. Like comparing factory car parts to Auto Zone. Of course, the third-party would offer cheaper, non-factory parts.
    Exactly right. This is always the case with OEM parts vs third-party. 
    watto_cobra
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