Towards the end of last year, Apple announced its intentions to allow customers to repair their own devices themselves by using original Apple parts and tools. The program, called “Self Service Repair,” was unveiled as the company’s effort to comply with the “right to repair.” Apple fully opened up about its Self Service Repair program yesterday, revealing how the customers can purchase self-repair parts, which devices are eligible for the program, parts costs, and much more. If you’re interested in learning about Apple’s Self Service Repair Program, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Apple program:
What is Apple’s Self Service Repair Program?
Currently, if your iPhone’s camera, display, battery, earpiece, or any other part gets damaged, you have to go to the service center to get it repaired. These service centers, irrespective of them being Apple’s own authorized service center or a third party, charge an exorbitant fee to repair your Apple device. Moreover, you have to take out some time from your daily schedule to visit the service center.
Apple’s Self Service Repair Program will allow you to repair your iPhone all by yourself. Using the self-service repair program, you will be able to purchase all the tools required, including the genuine first-party repair parts, repair manual, and the toolkit, directly from Apple. After gathering all the tools and parts required, you can repair the Apple device on your own.
For now, Apple’s Self Service Repair Program is available only in the US. It will be expanding to more countries, including Europe, later this year. Apple says the tools and parts available under the Self Repair Service are the same tools as used by Apple’s repair network. “They are custom-designed to help provide the best repairs for Apple products and are engineered to withstand the rigors of high-volume, professional repair operations where safety and reliability are the utmost priority,” the company adds.
In the initial phase, Apple is only providing self-repairs for the commonly serviced modules, such as the display, battery, and camera. “The ability for additional repairs will be available later next year,” says Apple.
Will self-repairing your iPhone void warranty?
Apple is very explicit when it comes to warranty and self-repairs. The company clearly states that the self-repair program is strictly for out-of-warranty repairs. If your iPhone is still covered under warranty, you should consider getting it repaired from an official Apple service center rather than taking the self-service route.
But if you’re iPhone wondering to self-repair your iPhone, Apple says that repairing your iPhone with parts sourced from the Self Service Repair program will not void your warranty. However, in case of any hardware damage that occurs during the repair, will not be covered.
Eligible Apple Devices
For now, only a small number of iPhone models are supported right now. Apple says it’s working hard to add more devices to the Self Repair program. The company says it will soon open up the program for its Mac computers featuring Apple Silicon. But, at the time of writing this article, only iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone SE 3rd Gen models are supported. Here’s a list of all the devices that are eligible for Apple’s Self Service Repair Program:
Spare Parts Costs
You might be a little disappointed if you’re thinking that a DIY repair would cost you less money than getting your iPhone repaired via a technician. The pricing for several replacement parts on Apple’s self-repair website is very similar to what the company would charge you to get your iPhone repaired via an authorized service center. Take the battery self-repair cost, for example. A battery replacement for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 costs the same, i.e. $69, as the company would charge you if you get it replaced by an Apple service center.
Similarly, the self-repair display replacement part for an iPhone 12 would cost you $267.96 whereas getting it repaired from an authorized service center would cost $279 — a mere ~$11 difference. Prices remain (more or less) the same for camera replacement parts as well. All in all, self-repairing your iPhone can cost the same, if not more, than what you would pay at the service center.
But, there’s an important catch here. Apple says that if you send back the replaced part, you will get some money back in the form of credit. For example, if you send back the old battery to Apple after preparing your iPhone, you can get up to $24.15 in credit, bringing down the cost of repair to $44.85. The amount that will get credited depends upon the condition of the part you’re sending to Apple.
How to place an order for Apple’s self-repair parts?
If you’ve made up your mind about self-repairing your iPhone, you’ll first need to review the repair manual. You can download the repair manual using the links given below. After carefully reviewing the manual, you can place an order for the part you require through the Self Service Repair website. You can easily select your iPhone model and the type of part you’re looking for directly from the website.
After selecting the phone model and the part you’re looking for, you will need to enter your iPhone’s serial number or IMEI number before you can add the item to the cart. You will also need to enter the “manual ID” to successfully add the item to the cart. Apple says that you need to enter the manual ID to “indicate that you’ve read the manual in its entirety and agree that you have the knowledge, experience, and necessary tools to perform the intended repair.”
Once you’ve added the repair part to your cart, you will need to add the special toolkit to the cart. This toolkit contains all the parts need to perform self-repair on your iPhone. More information about this toolkit can be read down below. Once you’ve added the part and the toolkit to the cart, enter shipping details and place the order as you normally would on an online shopping website.
How does the Apple Self Repair kit look like?
To perform the repair yourself, a special toolkit is required. This kit will contain all the tools needed to repair your eligible Apple device. For the customers who do not want to purchase a toolkit for a single repair, Apple will be offering tool rental kits for $49. After you receive the toolkit, you will be allowed to keep it for seven days after which you will have to hand it back to Apple. “The weeklong rental kits will ship to customers for free,” says Apple.
For those wondering what these toolkits look like, they’re massive. Apple says that the rental kits for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 include two cases, one weighing 43 pounds and the other weighing 36 pounds. When stacked on top of each other, the cases measure 20-inch in width and 47-inch in height. There are wheels on the bottom of both cases for easy transportation. For iPhone SE (2022), Apple will ship only one toolkit with parts designed specifically for the smaller iPhone model.
How to download the repair manual for your iPhone
To ensure you repair your device in a correct manner, you will need to take the help of the manual that Apple provides. These repair manuals contain every bit of information about self-repairs, including the details on how to set up for a repair, the steps required to perform a repair, and what you should do if something goes wrong. You can use the links given below to download the self-repair manual for your specific iPhone model:
Is self-repair better than getting your phone repaired by Apple?
Self-repairs can be adventurous. For people who have the knowledge of repairs or are patient enough to follow all the steps mentioned in Apple’s manuals carefully, self-repair is a great option. Through the Self Service Repair Program, you can ensure that all the parts used are genuine and no one tampers with your smartphone. You can even lower the cost of repair thanks to Apple offering store credit for sending them back the replaced parts. Moreover, you avoid losing access to your Apple device for days/weeks that you have to if you go through the mail-in repair route.
But, for most of us unskilled people, getting the iPhone repaired via Apple’s first-party store is still the best choice. The cost is more or less the same. Moreover, if you break the iPhone during the self-repair process, the cost of any follow-on repair that may be required is entirely your responsibility. Apple will not refund the amount of your self-repair replacement parts and in fact, could charge further for limiting the damage.
The iPhone interior is very cramped up. There are hundreds of tiny parts in a small space. There could be many small pieces that can be broken easily during self-repair, so we strongly recommend you assess your ability to self-repair before you decide to take advantage of Apple’s new program.