Apple has finally launched an official self-repair service for its products. There’s a discount for users who return their old parts for recycling, but some repairs will still be costly.
The service will initially only be available to US customers. They’ll need to browse a dedicated website (selfservicerepair.com) to find the appropriate manual. To order parts they’ll need to provide their serial number or IMEI plus the repair manual ID. The latter ID appears to be a way to confirm the user has ordered the correct parts and at the least had the opportunity to read the correct instructions.
The site and delivery is being handled by an as-yet-unnamed third party business. (The domain name was registered last November with the registrant’s identity kept private.) Apple says it will not have any information about who has used the service.
Once a user completes the repair, they may need to run a software tool called System Configuration, initiated through an online chat or phone call.
At launch only the iPhone 12, 13 and SE ranges are available, though some Mac computers will be added later this year. As an example, repairs are available for the iPhone 12 battery, speaker, camera, display, SIM tray and taptic engine.
For most components users can buy individual parts or a bundle, which includes relevant screws and adhesives. After a repair is complete, users can send back the old parts for a return credit, though the proportions vary greatly. For example, the iPhone 12 camera is $111.75, reduced to $59.25 after the return credit. A new display is $267.96, reduced only to $234.36 after return credit.
Apple is stressing that only people with experience carrying out such repairs should use the service and says the “vast majority of customers” will be better off using a certified professional repair service. It says eight out of 10 of its US customers live within 20 minutes of an authorized repairer.