October 6, 2022
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Tech

Apple’s new self-service repair program for iPhones and Macs is now available

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With Apple’s blessing, you can finally fix your iPhone in your own home. On Wednesday, the company announced a new section of its website where you can buy equipment and replacement parts, including new display screens, batteries and speakers. The online store seems easy enough to use, and Apple is also offering a customer repair kit – which weighs about 79 pounds – that you can rent for $ 49 a week.

This new program is a big change for Apple. Historically, the company typically has Apple-certified technicians in only its 5,000 Apple-approved service providers, repair equipment and replacement parts, and more than 3,000 independent repair stores. Apples have long Criticism has come from right-to-repair advocates who want manufacturers to give customers the ability to fix their own devices, for this policy, as well as for hardware design practices that cannot be easily upgraded or include certain components that only Apple Access There is.

The new repair program looks simple enough. Apple has developed repair manuals for specific device lineups, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and third-generation iPhone SE. After you have studied your specific phone repair manual, you can go to the company’s self-service repair store, which lets you search from over 200 parts based on your own iPhone model. The site also offers tools that you can use to complete your repairs, including a $ 99 torque driver and $ 216 press for a display screen.

If you do not want to buy an expensive tool that you will have to own forever, you can rent a customized kit that includes all the gadgets you need. These kits, which come in one or two boxes, are extremely heavy, so Apple recommends a number of strategies for picking them up, including “think before you lift” and “take your time.” Once you have everything you need, Apple will send all the supplies you order to your home. Once your repairs are done, you can return some of your old parts for reuse in exchange for Apple Store credit.

Customers will eventually be able to purchase replacement parts for their iPhone directly from Apple.
Apples

At the moment the program is limited to the iPhone and is only available in the United States. But later this year, the store will expand to include some Mac computers and be available in other countries, starting in Europe.

Repairing Apple devices has long been an expensive and tedious process, so the company’s new store is a welcome development. But at the same time, it’s not clear if Apple is doing what it can to make its products easier to repair, especially since the program is still limited to a few iPhone models. After all, in recent years dozens of states have proposed right-to-repair laws, bills that Apple has fought. For example, the company successfully convinced California lawmakers in 2019 that customers could accidentally damage the iPhone’s lithium-ion battery while trying to repair them. Apple also suggested that unauthorized repairs could compromise the security and privacy of its devices.

Despite Apple’s best efforts, this right-to-repair movement has recently won support at the White House. In July, President Joe Biden passed an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission, among other things, to create new right-to-repair regulations. Towards the end of that month, the company announced that it would ramp up against “illegal” restrictions on repairs, following the filing of an investigation by various technology manufacturers used to make products more difficult. Apple’s decision was announced in November on the same day as a deadline related to a right-to-repair resolution filed by activist Apple. Shareholders back in September, a connection was first reported by The Verge.

Green Century – the sustainable-centric mutual fund that led that effort – has overturned its resolution, forcing Apple to study the environmental impact of its tough repair policy.

“We felt it was a big enough step,” Analisa Tarizo, a Green Century shareholder advocate, told Record in November. “We hope to be involved in the companies that invest in this issue because we think it’s really important and there are real risks for investors involved in this issue.”

New guidelines from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could affect Apple’s timing, Tarizo added. Two weeks before Apple’s announcement, the company withdrew a Trump-era rule that made it easier for companies to dismiss socially conscious shareholder resolutions. Green Century also had a deadline on Wednesday to defend its proposal to the SEC, which asked Apple to block it.

So Apple’s concessions to some demands from right-to-repair activists appear to be an attempt to give precedence to new regulations with its repair program. But there are some limitations to the company going forward. It’s not exactly encouraging all users to start rooting their iPhones and MacBooks. In a press release announcing self-service repairs, Apple said the program is “for specialized technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices” and “most customers” must go to an approved repair store. Meanwhile, customers who decide to repair their own devices under the new program will still have to buy parts directly from Apple, which also sets the price of those components.

“This is not the open source repair revolution we’ve seen through our fight for repair rights,” Elizabeth Chamberlain, iFixit’s director of sustainability, said in a November blog post. “While there is now an ‘official’ way to avoid warning messages and feature loss when you need to replace batteries, cameras or displays, Apple has less incentive to help users of third-party devices, even those that have been rescued.” Other iPhones. By controlling the parts market, Apple can also decide when devices will become obsolete. ”

This is not the first time that Apple has adjusted its strategy before taking possible regulation or legal action. In a proposed settlement to a class-action lawsuit representing software developers last summer, Apple said it would allow companies to tell iPhone and iPad users how to pay for purchases, such as subscriptions, outside the App Store ecosystem. In September, the company also changed its rules for in-app purchases while embroiled in a contentious lawsuit with Epic Games. None of these app-related updates have changed Apple’s policy of charging large fees to third parties operating in Apple’s ecosystem, while Apple’s own apps get free rides.

Apple seems to be taking a similar approach with its new repair system. But while the company’s new program brings a lot of caution, the move is a big win for customers who don’t want to send their devices to Apple or find an approved repair shop.

Updated, April 27, 11:30 am ET: This story has been updated to mention that Apple’s repair shop is now available.

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