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Apple Announces Self Service Repair

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) announced, on April 27, 2022, the rollout of Apple Self Service Repair to U.S. customers. This new online store offers parts, tools, and manuals that will enable “customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices” to complete repairs on the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone SE (3rd generation) involving features such as the display, battery, and camera.

Later in 2022, the program also include manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Mac computers with Apple silicon. It also will expand to other countries, starting in Europe.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple has launched Apple Self Service Repair, giving customers access to genuine parts and tools.
  • Initial rollout is for U.S. customers only and just involving parts and tools for certain iPhone models.
  • Global rollout, starting with Europe, will come later in 2022.
  • Parts and tools for Mac computers with Apple silicon also will be available later in 2022.

Details on Apple Self Service Repair

The new online Apple Self Service Repair Store initially is offering more than 200 individual parts and tools. To determine what parts or tools are needed for a particular repair, the customer first must review an online repair manual.

Apple certifies that the parts and tools are exactly the same as those made available to its network of authorized repair providers. For certain repairs, customers will receive a credit when returning a replaced part for recycling. Additionally, Apple promises that the prices offered in the Self Service Repair Store are identical to those paid by authorized repair providers.

For customers who do not see a need to keep tools after completing a specific repair, Apple will offer tool rental kits for $49. These rentals will have a duration of one week and will ship for free.

Apple’s Growing Repair Network

Apple indicates that, during the past three years, it has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to genuine Apple parts, tools, and training. It claims to have a global network of more than 5,000 authorized service providers that supports more than 100,000 active technicians. In the U.S. alone, Apple says that 80% of its customers are located within 20 minutes of an authorized service provider.

Possible Motivation

As with other tech giants, Apple has been facing increasing scrutiny and criticism over alleged anticompetitive practices. Indeed, in 2021, the company publicly acknowledged for the first time that potential antitrust actions had become a major business risk.

Apple’s decision to make its genuine parts and tools generally available, rather than restricting them to its own in-house use and a network of authorized repair providers, may be an attempt to blunt some of this criticism. A similar intent probably motivated adding the statistics cited above about the scope of its authorized service network to the press release about Apple Self Service Repair. That is, Apple probably is keen to demonstrate that it has not been as restrictive as some critics claim regarding the certification of independent repair providers.

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