Have some superior tech skills and a broken iPhone 12 or 13? Apple has announced a new self-service repair program that will let you buy parts to fix it. While the service is only available to late-model phone owners who want to replace their screen, battery, or camera now, Apple will later sell parts to let users fix Macs, too.
This is a big move for Apple, as it has long resisted calls from repair shops and customers for better access to manuals and official parts. Political pressure likely contributed to the company's about-face. The Biden administration signaled its disapproval of "unfair" restrictions on self-repairs this summer, and the Federal Trade Commission voted in July to increase enforcement against repair restrictions.
Ultimately, though, this policy change may not have a big impact on the average person. "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," Apple said in a press release.
How much it will cost to repair your phone yourself is still a mystery — Apple will not reveal the price of spare parts until the program launches next year. However, the company did reveal it will charge fix-it-happy customers the same as independent repair providers currently pay. Apple COO Jeff Williams said on Wednesday that the company "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."
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