What happened to Apple’s new self-service repair program?

Apple announced a new “self-service repair” program last year, which for the first time would allow consumers to buy parts for iPhones, iPads and other Apple products to repair them themselves. same at home. While the company promised the program would launch earlier this year in the US, we haven’t heard from it since November 2021 – so what happened? Is it still coming?

What is self-service repair

Apple has never been friendly when it comes to third-party repairs. Devices like the iPhone, iPad, and even the Mac have most of the parts soldered onto the motherboard, and they also use special screws and adhesives that make the repair process difficult for anyone who isn’t a technician. certified. The company has always discouraged “unauthorized” repairs.

However, independent repair shops and even some consumers are asking for what they call the “right to repair”. This has resulted in bills that have tried to force tech companies to facilitate DIY repairs.

The company then announced the self-service repair program as a way to show it’s committed to letting users fix their own devices if they choose. According to Apple, it would first provide repair parts for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, which include batteries, cameras and screens. Apple said the program would expand to more parts and more products like M1 Macs at a later date.

As of March 2021, the company has yet to launch the program and has never provided further details about it.

Is it still coming? Has Apple changed its mind?

Why Apple hasn’t launched the self-service repair program yet is unknown, but there are hints that the company still plans to introduce it at some point.

For example, some users noticed that there is an option to order “spare parts” for the Apple Watch in the Apple Support app (although it only redirects the user to an Apple Advisor). The article published on the Apple Newsroom website is still there with the statement that the program “will be available early next year in the United States and will expand to other countries throughout 2022.”

A memo leaked last year revealed that the program is run by a third-party company, not Apple. It is therefore unclear whether the parts will be available directly from Apple’s website or only through Apple Support. The memo also revealed that the company will make documentation and repair manuals available on its website.

In recent months, Apple has simplified the replacement of certain parts of the iPhone. Earlier this year, the company announced that authorized service providers now have access to a new tool that can replace the TrueDepth camera with the Face ID module without having to replace the entire iPhone. Meanwhile, a teardown of the new Mac Studio revealed that the internal storage may be replaced by Apple.

One theory I have is that Apple delayed the program due to component shortages, which also affected the manufacturing process for several devices.

In a survey conducted by 9to5Mac, 38% of our readers said they would always prefer to take their products to an Apple Store or authorized vendor for repair, while around 55% of our readers expressed some interest in repairing their own devices. What is your opinion on that? Let us know in the comments below.

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