Apple now lets you buy parts so you can fix your iPhone yourself

Apple now lets you buy parts so you can fix your iPhone yourself

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Michaela Rehle | Reuters

Apple opened its “Self Service Repair” online store on Wednesday as the right to repair movement has put pressure on U.S. regulators to give consumers more control over their products.

The new program, first announced in November, will offer customers more than 200 parts and tools customers can use to repair the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and third-generation iPhone SE. Customers will be able to fix features like the display, battery and camera with the new tools, according to Apple. The parts cost the same and are identical to those Apple’s authorized repair providers have access to.

The program will also include manuals, parts and tools to repair certain Mac computers later this year, Apple said.

It first launches in the U.S. but will expand to other countries, beginning in Europe, later this year.

Customers can rent tools for one week at $49 with free shipping if they prefer not to buy them outright. In some cases, customers can also get a credit for returning a replaced part for recycling.

Despite opening up the program, Apple said in its blog post that visiting a certified technician with genuine Apple parts is still the “safest and most reliable way to get a repair” for the “vast majority of customers who do not have experience repairing electronic devices.”

Advocates for the right to repair have argued that manufacturers like Apple should provide wider access to repair parts and manuals so customers aren’t locked into a select set of authorized repair shops. Apple has previously warned of safety or performance issues that could arise from third-party parts or unauthorized repairs.

Now, federal regulators at the direction of the Biden administration are assessing the right to repair and whether there should be new rules to protect customers. In an executive order, the president directed the Federal Trade Commission to consider rules to prevent “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items.” In July, the agency unanimously voted to ramp up enforcement of repair restrictions.

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