iFixit praises Apple’s new self-service repair program, calling it ‘extraordinary concession’

Apple surprised the world this morning with an unexpected “Self Service Repair” program, which is designed to give users access to genuine Apple parts, tools and manuals for their own device repairs.

Providing users with this type of unprecedented access to repair guidelines and hardware is a big win for repair rights advocates and we’re starting to hear from service technicians happy with Apple’s decision.

The well-known iFixit device repair and disassembly site says its team is “excited” about the news and hopes Apple will provide customers with the same information that Apple gives authorized service providers.

iFixit points out that Apple’s decision nullifies many of the arguments it has made over the years against the repair rights movement because Apple acknowledges that repairs can be done without harm to consumers or their devices. Apple has previously claimed that customers could be injured if they accidentally puncture the battery while repairing the device, which is obviously no longer a concern. “We’re thrilled to see Apple acknowledge what we’ve always known: everyone is genius enough to fix the iPhone,” reads iFixit’s report on Apple’s announcement.

Kyle Wiens, founder and CEO of iFixit, said on Twitter that Apple’s decision marks a “complete shift in perspective” and that there is hope that this is a step towards making devices last longer.

While this is a big step forward, iFixit points out that there are a number of unknowns and warnings. It is unlikely that Apple will allow customers to use parts purchased elsewhere than from Apple’s online store, and the near availability of official parts could lead to Apple further locking “iPhone” components through serialization, limiting the use of third-party parts or parts rescued from other iPhone devices.

Other repair advocates agree that Apple’s move is a victory for the right to repair, but there is more to be done. iFixit says it will continue to fight for laws that will “keep the honesty of Apple and other manufacturers”, while the Coalition for the Right to Repair, which represents several repair workshops and trade groups, said it was “far” from demanding the right to repair , but shows that lawmakers are on the right track if Apple was scared to allow customer repairs.

Nathan Proctor, who heads the Right to Repair campaign with the United States Public Interest Research Group, called Apple’s move a “huge milestone” for the right to repair, while repair advocate Kevin O’Reilly called it a “huge victory,” but he said concrete reforms are still needed.

Apple’s Self Service Repair program will launch in early 2022 in the United States and will begin with Apple making repair components available to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 owners. Apple plans to expand to additional countries during 2022 and will also work on support for multiple repairs and multiple devices over time.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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