Only a ‘small fraction’ of iPhone users will use the self-service repair program, the study suggests

According to a study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), very few iPhone users will repair their own “iPhone” to delay their next smartphone purchase, despite a self-repair program.

Earlier this week, Apple announced a self-service repair program, giving customers who are happy with the idea of ​​completing repairs themselves accessing Apple’s original parts, tools and manuals, starting with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lines. Although the scheme has been praised by advocates of the right to repair, it seems that few ‌iPhone‌ users will use it in practice.

CIRP research suggests that almost all iPhones in use have a screen in the “usable” state, and most iPhones have a battery in the “usable” state. 12 percent of the “iPhone” screens are cracked but usable, and only six percent are unusable and need to be replaced. It is said that 26 percent of the “iPhone” battery provides a battery life of half a day without charging, and 14 percent must be charged every few hours. Battery replacement is therefore likely to be among the most common repairs, but relatively few active devices need to replace any of these parts that are subject to a high degree of wear.

cirp maps of self-service repairs

The small number of active devices that need replacement parts, combined with the fact that many users will not be comfortable doing their own repairs, indicates that a very small number of “iPhone” users will really take advantage of the self-service program. CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin said:

Battery life seems to affect consumers more than the state of the screen. 14 percent of iPhone buyers said they need to recharge the battery in their old iPhone every few hours. Only six percent of iPhone buyers said they had a cracked screen making the old phone unusable, while another 12 percent had a cracked screen that was still usable. Of course, customers have many reasons to upgrade from an old iPhone, including CPU performance or storage capacity. So, at best, a small proportion of customers are likely to delay buying a new iPhone by repairing an old phone through a self-service program.

Since most new iPhone customers already have “more than adequately usable phones,” “few owners would use a self-service repair program to delay their next purchase of an iPhone,” says Josh Lowitz of CIRP.

The Self Service Repair program will be available to customers early next year in the United States and will expand to additional countries during 2022.

CIRP’s findings are based on a survey of 2,000 Apple customers in the U.S. who bought an Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac between October 2020 and September 2021.

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Naveen Kumar

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