And here I thought 2020 was a weird year what with the pandemic and reports of something new and unheard of every week. Well, to be fair 2021 hasn’t been all that bad generally or maybe I am desensitized to the stuff that rumbles through the news cycle. However, this took me completely by surprise and I am sure many who have already heard the news did a double take. Apple will now support users who are comfortable with repairing their own devices with tools, parts and manuals.
“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed, 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.”Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer
The right to repair argument…
For the longest time, Apple has been one of the biggest anti right to repair manufacturers. If you wanted to fix an Apple device yourself you would most certainly have voided your warranty. Furthermore, any novice technicians who tried and it went pear-shaped would be left with a brick on their hands.
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This is chiefly because Apple didn’t offer parts or manuals to anyone outside their certified repair centres the world over. This news is a big win for the right to repair movement and will surely force companies like Tesla to maybe reconsider their harsh third party and individual repair policies.
Apple is doing this in phases
Apple’s self service repair rollout is starting in the United States in 2022 and will be extended to other regions later. The first phase of the program will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone displays, batteries, and cameras. Other parts and modules will be added on later in 2022.
Apple’s new self-service store will start with more than 200 individual papers and tools. The phones that will be the guinea pigs for this are the iPhone 12 and 13 models, followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips later in 2022.
So… no love for Africa and other regions where the older versions of the iPhone are the only way that most people can experience the brand.
Great as this is, there is money to be made here…
If you know Apple, then you will most certainly know that the parts, tools and manuals they will be selling will be priced in the most Apple way possible. This, however, won’t deter those who are in the subset of people who can afford Apple devices and want to tinker with their own gadgets.
That being said, I have to hand it to Apple. They are, as always, in complete control of their ecosystem and can milk it in any way they choose.