Apple launches 'Self Service Repair' to allow customers to fix their own iPhones, Macs

A cartoon of someone repairing an Apple device
The programme is initially rolling out in the US, with more countries added in 2022. Photo credit: Supplied / Apple

Apple has announced iPhone and Mac owners will soon be able to purchase genuine parts and tools to allow them to repair broken devices by themselves.

This marks a big shift for the Cupertino-based tech company, which has historically been resistant to allowing individuals to fix their own devices.

As recently as this week it walked back a decision to stop FaceID working if an iPhone's screen had been replaced by a non-standard screen.

According to The Verge, Apple has been under growing pressure from both repair activists and regulators over the right to repair and the timing of the announcement isn't likely to be coincidental.

Today was a deadline for a shareholder resolution filed with the company, with a threat by the activists to go to the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to get it resolved.

But Green Century, the mutual fund that filed the resolution, is now withdrawing it in light of Apple's change of heart.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models will be the first devices in the 'Self Service Repair' programme with Mac computers featuring M1 chips following afterwards. 

Self Service Repair will be available early next year in the US and expand to additional countries throughout 2022, the company has said, with no information yet when it will be available in Aotearoa.

The initial phase of the programme will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone display, battery, and camera, the company said.

"Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

"In the past three years, Apple has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and training, and now we're providing an option for those who wish to complete their own repairs."

The company does say that the new program is geared towards "individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices".

"For the vast majority of customers, visiting a professional repair provider with certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair."