In a u-turn so abrupt that you might get whiplash just from reading about it, Apple has decided that it’s mad keen on letting users repair their own kit after all.
Yes, the company that until last week wouldn’t even let third parties replace an iPhone 13 screen without knackering Face ID in the process, will now provide spare parts for those that want all the fun of cosplaying as an Apple Store genius in the comfort of their own home.
“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” said Apple’s COO Jeff Williams. “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.”
For its part, Apple will provide a text based repair manual and a store of over 200 different spare parts, initially for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, but with M1 MacBooks to follow. Mailing back in the damaged part after surgery is complete will grant you credit towards your part purchase.
To be clear, though, if you’ve never cracked open a laptop or phone before, you may want to get a steady handed professional involved.
“Self Service Repair is intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices,” Apple warns. Indeed, the cartoon accompanying the release (pictured above) features a grounded engineer wearing gloves, a visor and with the iPhone safely clamped in place.
“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 other words, continue at your own risk.
Though it’s not much use if you’ve already busted your iPhone 13, as you won’t be able to do this until next year at the earliest — and maybe not even then, depending on how quickly Apple rolls out the self repair programme worldwide. It’s starting with the US, and is then set to “expand to additional countries throughout 2022.”
If history is anything to go by, then New Zealand will likely be quite close to the bottom of that list.