Because sometimes, burying your phone in a bucket of rice just won’t do.
Apple has announced plans to begin offering manuals, tools and replacement parts directly to customers who wish to perform repairs on their own Apple devices.
Apple’s Self Service Repair program, announced Wednesday, will be available to Apple users sometime “early next year,” with plans to roll out the service in additional countries in 2022, according to the company.
Upon its launch, the program will offer “more than 200 individual parts and tools” specifically to repair display, battery or camera parts on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. Additional parts and tools will be made available for Mac computers in subsequent phases of the program.
Apple says, however, that these parts are only intended for “technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices,” and recommends that all other customers continue to have their devices serviced by a professional. The company further suggests reviewing the online repair manual, to learn what the repair entails, before even placing an order for the parts.
“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 a statement provided with Wednesday’s announcement. “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’s latest move comes amid increased demand from consumers and legislators for the “right to repair” devices or pieces of equipment owned by the customers themselves, rather than those consumers being forced to contact the manufacturer for every fix, update or modification.
Right-to-repair directives were even included in an executive order signed earlier this year by President Joe Biden, to further efforts toward thwarting anti-competitive practices in the tech industry. Around half of the states in the U.S. are also working on legislation to ease such repair restrictions, according to the Associated Press.
It’s not just consumer electronics, either. As pointed out by such organizations as The Repair Association, an advocacy group for consumer repair rights, the problem also extends to medical equipment and agricultural equipment, some of which can’t be fixed by farmers due to prohibitive repair policies.
“If I know how to do something, I shouldn’t have to wait and call a technician for something simple, or even to diagnose the problem,” said Montana farmer Sarah Rachor in a statement to the AP earlier this year. “I love technology, but it is making simple things harder.”
As it stands, Apple customers wishing to fix one of their devices can bring or send it to the Apple store or an authorized Apple repair center. Fixes performed by unauthorized repair technicians may result in the device becoming ineligible for authorized service in the future, according to Apple.