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Apple is making good on last year’s promise to begin selling parts and tools for at-home iPhone repairs with today’s launch of its new Self Service Repair program.
Starting today, customers in the United States will be able to download free repair manuals and purchase genuine Apple parts and tools through a new Self Service Repair Store. Apple says it plans to expand this to other countries later this year, starting with Europe.
For now, the self-service repair program only covers the latest iPhone models, including the entire iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, along with the third-generation iPhone SE that arrived in March. It’s also limited to display, battery, and camera replacements.
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Later this year, the program will also expand to Apple Silicon Macs, but there’s no word on when (or if) older devices will be added to the program.
Considering that most of the iPhone models currently covered by the program are still under warranty, Apple’s efforts feel a bit disingenuous right now; it’s unlikely anybody is going to pay for a do-it-yourself (DIY) repair when they can visit an Apple Store and have their iPhone serviced under warranty at no additional cost.
Apple emphasizes that its Self Service Repair program is for out-of-warranty repairs. Although you may be tempted to go for a do-it-yourself repair for something that Apple’s warranty doesn’t cover, such as a damaged screen, doing so will very likely void your warranty for any future repairs.
Each of Apple’s repair manuals includes the following Warranty Disclaimer:
Damage caused by repairs performed outside of Apple or the Apple Authorized Service network is not covered by Apple’s warranty or AppleCare plans. Such damage may cause future repairs to be subject to out-of-warranty costs or Redner the device ineligible for future repairs by Apple or Apple Authorized Service Providers.
Technically speaking, since that disclaimer only refers to “damage,” you should be fine if your DIY repair goes according to plan; Apple expressly states that a Self Service Repair doesn’t void their warranty. However, we’d still recommend not risking a DIY repair if your iPhone is still under warranty.
The customer’s product warranty is not impacted by a Self Service Repair, however any issue or damage caused by the customer over the course of the repair would not be covered by Apple.Apple
How Much Does It Cost?
Not surprisingly, the self-repair option won’t save you much money over Apple’s normal repair costs, which is another reason not to take the risk of voiding your warranty in a botched repair attempt.
For example, an iPhone 12 Pro Display Bundle will set you back $269.95 upfront, although you’ll get a $33.60 credit after returning your old display to Apple, making the out-of-pocket price $236.35.
By comparison, Apple charges $279 for an out-of-warranty screen replacement for an iPhone 12 Pro.
Similarly, a battery replacement kit for an iPhone 12 costs $46.84 after the part return credit is factored in. Apple’s Battery Replacement Pricing is $69 for all modern iPhone models.
At first glance, this makes it seem like you’ll still save some money, but that gets eaten up by the cost of the tools necessary to perform the repairs. Apple rents these for $49 for a week — plus a deposit for the total replacement cost of the tools, taken in the form of a two-week credit card authorization hold.
The tool kit is also quite a beast. Apple ships the tools out in two separate cases, which together weigh 79 pounds and measure 20 inches wide by 47 inches high when stacked on top of each other.
The kits are also specific to each iPhone model, so if you’re hoping to rent one kit to conduct repairs for friends and family, you’ll be out of luck unless everyone uses the same iPhone model.
Note that Apple doesn’t require you to rent the tool kit. You can purchase the appropriate tools on your own, or use whatever tools you already have. However, the specialized nature of the tools means that most people really should opt for Apple’s kit rental.
Apple’s Self-Service Repair program allows customers to order replacements for the display, battery, camera module, bottom speaker, Taptic Engine, and SIM tray. This last item could be handy for some folks since it’s the one part that doesn’t require a repair, so there’s no need for a tool kit rental. SIM trays are priced at $7.20 regardless of the iPhone model and are available in all the appropriate colors, including the new Alpine Green.
Lastly, in case it isn’t already apparent that this is largely a PR move to head off right to repair legislation, Apple also published a new paper this week, Expanding Access to Service and Repairs for Apple Devices, which “details Apple’s approach to designing long-lasting products and increasing access to repairs.”