Year after year, Apple shows itself to be more and more aware of its fans and concerned about the environment by manufacturing its new iPhone, iPad and Mac from 100% recyclable materials (gold, tin, rare earths), from aluminum cabinets, plastic removal. As proof, it continues this course change with its new Self Service Repair program, which allows do-it-yourselfers to perform their own repairs and pollute less.
What is this service and how does it work? Does it really meet the needs of users?
What is self-service repair?
After a long hiatus with the right to repair, Apple has finally given in and is offering its Self Service Repair program. Announced in late 2021, it landed in the U.S. in April 2022, later to follow a further 22 countries, including France.
This service wants to offer, initially to owners of iPhone 12, 13 and SE (2022), the ability to self-repair their iPhone, Apple assures that it will be extended to MacBook M1.
Currently, it is possible to renovate the iPhone screen, the battery, the camera, the engine for haptic feedback, the low speaker or even SIM support. Other more technical recoveries will come during the year.
To help, a free repair manual is available, which allows you to correctly identify the parts (over 200) that need to be replaced and the necessary tools that are offered for sale and rental. All orders are placed from the dedicated Apple Self Service Repair online storefront.
After the repair, you can return the replaced parts and get a purchase credit in exchange.
For example, replacing the camera sensor in your iPhone 12 will cost you $ 111.75, upon receipt of the damaged sensor you will receive $ 52.50, they will be returned to you as a credit upon receipt and approval of your part.
Note: We recommend this program to users with “expert” hands and dexterity. This joins Apple, which often insists that it is always better to go to an Apple Store and call the Genius Bar or an authorized repairer. In fact, any damage caused will not be covered by Apple. So think twice before making your hands dirty!
Is self-service repair worth it?
Apple’s self-service repair service complies with the Anti-Waste Act and the model for circular economy and recycling of materials and parts. But it is, also and above all, part of a new U.S. law that guarantees the Right to Repair, passed by the Federal Trade Commission; these are electronic equipment and cars (cars, tractors, etc.).
In addition to recycling and consumer responsibility, this Apple app also saves money as the repair avoids spending more on a new iPhone. In principle, everything is there to seduce someone, but is it in practice just as obvious?
Self-service repair is not yet perfect, but with time and early reviews, we are confident that Apple will improve.
The grains of sand in the gear
Its biggest mistake, in our eyes, is the requirement to enter the serial number or IMEI of the phone as well as a six-digit code found in the repair manual to order the spare part. Once installed, call an Apple representative to attach the part to your phone. It will thus be identified as authentic and functional.
This process has two disadvantages. The first is that it restricts repair operations with third-party parts, and warns the repairer that they may compromise certain features of the phone. This deterrent message could block any repairman in his tracks.
The second is that repair shops in, for example, remanufacturing companies will not be able to store original spare parts to perform quick, genuine repairs for their customers.
Result ? Apple continues its exclusivity system by forcing the consumer and the repairman to remain within its fold, therefore nothing can be done outside the Apple environment, from spare parts to manuals and through its tools.
And the competition is crushed. Which is a shame when you know that Google, Samsung and Motorola do not have such obligations.
With this pairing system, the company also has the power to close a repair line if it so desires. As soon as the iPhone 12 and 13 intervals are exceeded, the manufacturer may decide to stop all access to parts. Your authentic part may be reported as being non-authentic even if it works.
With this enhanced control, Apple returns full foot to the planned obsolescence …
Apple and its prices
Another stumbling block in the program, the California firm’s unfortunate tendency to charge high prices. The latter will most likely deter potential customers and push them to buy a new product, in which case Apple wins (again) or against refurbished products offered by a professional such as BackMarket, Rebuy, Amazon, Baker.
As seen above, renting a set costs $ 49, or € 46, it contains a lot of accessories, but the loan lasts only 7 days … hence the importance of being skilled in its hands. If this is your case, a basic set of Novodio and iFixit disassembly and repair tools for € 9.90 and € 19.90 respectively will suffice. At iFixit, more complete sets are sold for € 59.95 for the iPhone 12/12 Pro, which is cheaper than Apple. And once you are in your possession, you can use them for as long as you need.
Two other reasons self-service repairs can slow down: an iPhone 12 screen repaired by Apple costs € 310 compared to $ 269.95 (€ 255.63) for an internal repair.
For 54 € difference and the risk of error, in our eyes it is preferable to send your iPhone 12 directly to Apple.
Finally, unlike Self Service Repair, this service is not only reserved for the last 3 generations of phones and is open to iPad, Watch Series, AirPods, etc.
Also, do not forget that if you have Apple Care +, the screen change costs 29 € …
Self-service repair: A failed attempt?
Hunt the natural, it comes back at a gallop!
The self-service repair program has been long awaited by Apple fans. When they saw the prices of iPhones rise and their device was not resistant to daily declines, they were eager to repair their iOS themselves instead of renewing it or repairing it at expensive prices.
But it was without expecting that the company locks its service and as usual does not offer very affordable prices …
The fact is that this is a very important face on the part of Apple, and that this new birth leaves a lot of room for improvement. And who knows, maybe she’s loosening the screws as she goes …