Apple sent an early holiday gift on Wednesday to eco-conscious and do-it-yourselfers: It said it will soon start selling parts, tools and instructions for people fix their iPhones by themselves.
It’s a big win for the “right to repair” movement, which requires tech manufacturers to provide the necessary components and user manuals so customers can repair their smartphones themselves. their tablets and computers.
Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and others have long resisted proposed legislation to make such repair resources publicly available. But the movement gained momentum this summer when the Federal Trade Commission announced that it will strengthen law enforcement against tech companies that make it difficult to repair their devices.
For decades, the idea that people could maintain their own consumer electronics was not realistic. Genuine parts are difficult to obtain, and repairs can be costly and intimidating. When phones and computers break down, buying a new one is the simplest option.
Now, Apple’s self-repair program is a sign that the tech industry can finally start to heat up to make maintenance part of the experience of owning a device.
“It’s a win for repair shops, it’s a win,” said Nathan Proctor, director of the US Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy organization “right to repair”. for consumers and it’s a win for the planet” legislation.
Here’s what this means for you.
What does Apple’s program mean I can do with my broken iPhone?
Starting early next year, Apple said, people will be able to use the online store to order parts and repair tools for its newer products, including iPhone 12 and 13 and other computers. Mac recently. Customers who send their damaged part to Apple will receive a credit to purchase a new part.
The program will focus on the most common items that need repair, such as screens, batteries, and cameras, before expanding to other types of components.
The company has yet to release a list of costs for the parts, but says the price for consumers will be what authorized repair shops pay. Currently, the cost of an authorized store iPhone 12 screen replacement is around $234 after the broken screen is traded. At the Apple store, an out-of-warranty iPhone 12 screen repair costs about $280.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement: “Creating greater access to genuine Apple parts gives our customers more choice if repairs are needed. cure.
Why is this a big deal?
In short, you’ll have more options for fixing an iPhone, which can reduce your costs.
In the past, it was easiest to go to an Apple store to have an iPhone repaired. But just as taking your car to the dealership for service isn’t the cheapest option, neither is going to an Apple store the most cost-effective.
The alternative is to take your iPhone to a third party for repair, which is likely to be more competitively priced. When I brought my broken iPhone XS screen to an Apple store this year, I was quoted $280 for the repair, compared with $180 from an independent store.
Kyle Wiens, chief executive officer of iFixit, a company that sells parts and publishes repair manuals for electronics to consumers is getting more and more difficult.
Even when genuine parts are used, some repairs can only be validated using Apple’s software tools, which are not made available to the public. Apple only makes such software tools available to its employees and authorized repair shops that have contracted and agreed to purchase parts only from the company. These authorized stores are then more likely to charge higher prices than those that are not.
Apple’s new program opens more doors. You can try fixing your device yourself to save cash. Or you can buy parts from Apple and take them to someone else for repair.
All of these things can encourage people to maintain their products longer and keep them longer, similar to regular car maintenance. That makes sense in terms of reducing technology waste and helping the environment.
What if I don’t own an Apple product?
Apple has historically been one of the loudest opponents of the “right to be repaired” movement. The company cites security risks – like customer data being appropriated during unauthorized repairs – as the main reason for keeping parts and instructions out of the reach of the public.
For non-Apple customers, this news makes a lot of sense. If Apple, one of the world’s most valuable public companies, is setting a new standard in repairs, you can expect other tech makers to follow suit – especially if they want to avoid being ripped off. fines from the federal government.
“This announcement marks significant progress in securing our right to repair, and we are proud of Apple for taking this bold step,” said Mr. Wiens.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/17/technology/personaltech/apple-iphone-self-repair.html What Apple’s New Repair Program Means for You (and Your iPhone)