Apple’s self-service program is an opportunity to mend fences.

Apple’s newly announced self-service repair program, set to launch in early 2022, will eventually give individual users access to genuine Apple OEM parts and manuals for repairing the DIY iPhone (and ultimately Mac). Although there are limitations to this program, and there are many questions about its implementation, this is an opportunity for Apple to improve the relationship with its customers by making repairs easier. If Apple charges the right price for the parts, the program could also be a way for enthusiastic consumers to save money on repairs by going DIY while allowing independent repair shops to stay competitive.

So far, access to factory OEM parts for iPhones and Macs has been limited to many of Apple’s blessed locations, including Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP), Apple Stores, and Apple Independent Repair Providers (IRP), a free program. Allows stores. Access to Apple’s genuine parts, tools, and training guides for repairing Mac and iPhone out of the ordinary warranty. Apple’s new self-service program – much like the IRP program – focuses only on repairing the screen, battery and camera when it comes to iPhones.

Apple aims to be a key resource for those looking for access to parts and manuals – promising “more than 200 individual parts and tools” for the iPhone 12 and 13 models early next year. Although the number is known to be high because the self-service program will launch with parts for only two models of iPhones, Kevin Purdy, author of the online repair guide site iFixit, found it reliable. He says Apple can sell a variety of adhesives, special devices, individual patches, custom presses, electrostatic discharge mats and more.

Example of a girl on a workbench with various tools ready to work on the replacement screen of the iPhone 12 or 13 Pro

This example from Apple’s press release shows at least 10 parts and tools for a repair out of a shipping box.
Photo: Apple

These parts are already available for Apple service providers, and the prices are quite high because the devices are so new. Apple itself charges consumers $ 279 for screen repairs to the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 Pro. According to iFixit, members of Apple’s IRP program pay about $ 270 to stock up on these screens (approximately what Apple charges for repairs). However, according to iFixit, the out-of-pocket cost for IRP members is reduced to $ 235 if the old part is returned.

Although Apple has said that people who use the self-service repair program will get credit back for the old part, it is not clear how much money you can save by going this route, and Apple has not responded. Given the edgeRequest to comment on the matter. In my experience as a former Apple employee, I remember that the Apple Store also had a policy of not allowing users to take back old parts from the repairs we made to them (including Mac’s). Bad hard drives). Depending on how important Apple is to the return of the bad part, any credit that Apple will offer to users of the self-service program can be significant in encouraging the return of the old part.

During the Ron Johnson era of Apple Retail, I worked as a genius in the Apple Retail Store repairing many Mac and early model iPhones. Although many repairs were expensive on paper, the training of our staff taught us to provide some repairs for free, especially to promote customer satisfaction, unless the equipment showed signs of misuse. Those policies tightened significantly after Johnson’s departure in 2011, when John Broot took over as SVP of Apple Retail and focused on cutting costs. That same year, Apple introduced the AppleCare Plus service plan add-on for iPhones, which covers accidental losses after paying a $ 49 service fee. Despite the changes, other former employees have talked about how pushing Apple customers to “surprise and delight” could still lead consumers to get free repairs to the store. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Normally, you can save money by purchasing aftermarket parts, but for now, aftermarket OLED screens for the iPhone 12 range from $ 279.99 (iFixit) to just حص 329.99 (Amazon) for the full kit, which That’s a heavy price. Going aftermarket also increases the risk that quality may not be as good as factory OEM pieces, and some parts may lose functionality, such as Apple’s True Tone adaptive screen feature. In principle, consumers can save money through self-service repairs if Apple compares the price of the parts to the current payment of IRPs. However, then IRPs will lose business unless Apple offers them more discounts on parts than the self-service program.

Another possible way for people to use the self-service program is to store parts like the free shops in the IRP program can. Apple may choose to differentiate between the IRP program and the self-service repair program by not allowing individuals to store it, however, it becomes more difficult for DIY people to plan ahead for these devices. Trying to repair what they want in the future.

In general, these will be people with older phones who need more repairs, and for now, Apple’s self-service repair program won’t help them. CEO of iFixit Kyle Wiens notes that most consumers do not need to replace batteries until a year and a half after buying the phone, when the battery runs out. While Wiens is generally enthusiastic about Apple’s announcement and direction, he believes that the self-service program is primarily about Apple’s potential regulatory action on the FTC and even pressure from its own shareholders on repairs. Is the strategy to get out. Apple is also being scrutinized by lawmakers over its limited repair methods.

Despite its limitations, it is hoped that Apple’s new program will empower more DIY repairers and perhaps save some cash. And if a user’s feet get cold when the kit arrives, they may have another option: take it to a local repair shop where they don’t have access to genuine Apple parts. The store can then charge a small fee and repair them.

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