Broken smartphone


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Have some superior tech skills and a broken iPhone 12 or 13? Apple is offering you a new way to save some cash.

Apple, which last year announced a self-service repair program that would allow people to buy parts to fix their phones, opened an online repair store this week. The store offers more than 200 parts and tools, plus user manuals, so that customers can fix newer iPhone models: the iPhone 12, 13, and third-generation SE. 

And for those who don't want to buy tools for a (hopefully) one-time fix, Apple offers tool kit rentals for $49. The kits, which are available for a week of use, will ship to customers for free. 

Right now, the program is available only for late-model phone owners who want to replace their screen, battery, or camera. However, Apple will later sell parts to let users fix their own Macs, too.

This is a big move for Apple, which 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 last summer, and the Federal Trade Commission voted in July to increase enforcement against repair restrictions.

Still, Apple cautions average Joes without much tech knowhow from getting in over their heads. "Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices," it said in a press release. "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."

Prices include $69 for a battery and screw kit for an iPhone 12 and $111.75 for an iPhone 13 Pro Max camera. A heated display removal fixture costs $256.35, and torque drivers range from $80 to $100. Apple has said it will charge fix-it-happy customers the same prices that independent repair providers currently pay. 

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