First announced in November, Apple is now selling and renting parts to customers who want to repair their iPhones.
In a blog post, Apple describes the program, which closely matches what was previously announced. You can now visit an online “Self Service Repair Store” to read repair manuals and order tools and ports. The store is only available in the United States for now, but it’s coming to other countries later this year. The first additional countries will be in Europe, Apple says.
The store offers more than 200 parts and tools. Apple says the parts are the same as those used in Apple’s network of authorized repair providers.
The parts available now are intended for repairs performed on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, as well as the newest iPhone SE. Tools, manuals, and parts for Macs with Apple silicon arrive later this year.
To start the process, Apple says you have to review the repair manual for the product in question at the repair store website. (You’ll be required to enter an ID number from the manual at the time of purchase to complete the transaction.)
After that, you can browse the store and order any parts or tools. Apple also says that you can receive a credit when returning specific replaced parts for recycling.
All that said, you might find that purchasing the tools is expensive. But Apple will also offer week-long tool rental kits at $49 with free shipping.
With the rental option, self-repairs are likely cheaper than going to a repair shop, provided you have the skill and knowledge to fix your device safely.
That said, most people don’t, and when doing these repairs, you’re responsible for any damage you may cause, not Apple. For this and other reasons, Apple says it’s still best for most people to go to a repair shop or Apple Store if possible.
The new parts and tools store marks a significant departure for Apple, which has historically discouraged users from repairing their devices. With growing calls for right-to-repair legislation, Apple is opening the flood gates—but just a little bit, not all the way. As iFixit noted, making product ID numbers part of the process means Apple maintains significant control over how users can service their devices.
Listing image by Apple