woman making repair to cellphone
Illustration courtesy of Apple

Apple makes parts, tools and manuals available to individual consumers

The move follow’s President Biden’s right to repair executive order this summer as well as shareholder pressure.

November 19, 2021

Apple, Cupertino, California, has announced Self Service Repair, which gives customers who are comfortable repairing their own Apple devices access to Apple genuine parts and tools. Available in the U.S. early next year first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and then for Mac computers featuring M1 chips, Self Service Repair will expand to additional countries throughout 2022.

The right to repair movement has been gaining traction in the U.S. this year. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report on repair restrictions to Congress this past May called “Nixing the Fix: An FTC Report to Congress on Repair Restrictions.” The 56-page document, which outlines several topics related to the repair and refurbishment of electronics, particularly mobile phones, shows that repair restrictions disproportionately affect people of color and lower-income communities.

In July President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 14036, which directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draft regulations that limit original equipment manufacturers’ ability to restrict independent repairs of their products.

Apple’s move is seen as an attempt to get ahead of impending regulations as well as a response to shareholder pressure. The announcement follows a shareholder resolution that environmental advocates filed with the company in September asking Apple to re-evaluate its stance on independent repair. The Verge reports that Wednesday, the day of Apple’s announcement, was a key deadline concerning the resolution, with advocates ready to bring the issue to the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve.

Apple says the initial phase of the program will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone display, battery and camera. The ability for additional repairs will be available later next year.

“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, says in a news release announcing the move. “In the past three years, Apple has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools and training, and now we’re providing an option for those who wish to complete their own repairs.”

Apple says to ensure a customer can safely perform a repair, he or she should first review the repair manual. Orders for Apple genuine parts and tools then can be made using the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store. Following the repair, customers who return their used parts for recycling will receive credit toward their purchases.

The new store will offer more than 200 individual parts and tools, enabling customers to complete the most common repairs on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

The company says, “Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices. For the vast majority of customers, visiting a professional repair provider with certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair.”

In the past three years, Apple says it has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools and training, including more than 2,800 independent repair providers in more than 200 countries.