Apple announces a new self-service repair program for iPhones and Macs

Apple announces a new self-service repair program for iPhones and Macs

Apple announced on Wednesday they will start letting people fix their products. This announcement marks a change in Apple’s repair policy and a big step forward in the repair rights movement. At the same time, the new program shows how Apple still wants these self-service repairs to take place on its own terms.

The new approach of iPhone manufacturers is relatively simple. Apple will soon make repair manuals available for specific devices, and after reviewing them, customers will be able to order the tools and components they need for those repairs on a new section of Apple’s website. At the beginning of the program, Apple will sell more than 200 different parts or tools to repair its iPhone 12 and 13 lines. Apple says the program will eventually turn on the Mac computers that have M1 chips.

Wednesday’s announcement is a big shift for Apple. Historically, the company has typically only offered repair tools and replacement parts for its 5,000 Apple Authorized Repairers and another 2,800 independent services that are Apple certified technicians. Apple has a long way to go has faced criticism from advocates of the right to repair, who want manufacturers to give customers the opportunity to repair their own devices, for this policy as well as for his practice of designing hardware that cannot be easily upgraded or the installation of certain components that only Apple has access.

Dozens of states proposed a law on the right to repair in recent years, accounts that Apple has fought. For example, a company they have successfully persuaded California lawmakers 2019 so that customers can start a fire if they accidentally damage the lithium-ion batteries in iPhone devices while trying to repair them. Apple has also suggested that the security and privacy of its devices can be compromised by unauthorized repairs.

Despite Apple’s best efforts, this repair rights movement has recently received support from the White House. In July, President Joe Biden passed executive order which, among other things, instructs the Federal Trade Commission to create new regulations on the right to repair. Later that month, the agency also said it would step up enforcement against “illegallyRestrictions on repairs, after investigation documented the different strategies that technology manufacturers used to make products more difficult to repair. Apple’s decision was announced on the same day as the key deadline regarding a resolution on the right to repair filed by an Apple activist shareholders back in September, a link first published by The Verge.

Green Century – the sustainability-focused mutual fund that led those efforts – has now withdrawn its resolution, which would pushed Apple will study the impact of its strict repair policies on the environment.

“We felt it was a big enough step forward,” Annalisa Tarizzo, a Green Century shareholder advocate, told Recode. “We hope to continue to engage the companies we invest in on this topic because we believe it is really important and that there are real risks for investors regarding this issue.”

New guidelines from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may have affected Apple’s timing, Tarizzo added. About two weeks ago, the agency repealed a Trump-era rule that came to him it is easier for companies to reject socially conscious shareholder decisions. Wednesday was also the deadline for Green Century to defend its proposal before the SEC, which Apple asked the agency to block.

So, it seems that Apple’s concession to some of the activists’ demands for the right to repair is an attempt to prevent any new regulation with its new repair program. But the company’s steps forward have some limitations. It’s not exactly encouraging all users to start dealing with their iPhones and MacBooks. U Media Release Announcing self-service repair, Apple says the program is designed for “individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices” and that “the vast majority of customers” should visit an authorized service center. Meanwhile, customers who choose to repair their devices themselves under the new program will still have to buy parts directly from Apple, which also determines the price of those components.

“This is not the open source repair revolution we’ve been looking for through our fight for the right to repair,” said Elizabeth Chamberlain, director of sustainability at iFixit. blog post on wednesday. “If there is now an‘ official ’way to avoid warning messages and loss of functions when you need to replace battery,, camera, or display, there is less incentive for Apple to help those who use third-party parts, or even those who have been rescued from other iPhones. By controlling the parts market, Apple can also decide when devices become obsolete. ”

This is not the first time that Apple has adjusted its strategy to avoid potential regulations or legal actions. In a proposed settlement with a class action lawsuit representing software developers this summer, Apple said it would allow companies inform iPhone and iPad users about payment methods for purchases such as subscriptions outside the App Store ecosystem. In September and the company set your own in-app purchasing rules while the company was locked in a disputed lawsuit with Epic Games. None of these app-related updates involved Apple changing its policy of charging large fees to third parties working in Apple’s ecosystem, while Apple’s own apps get a free ride.

Apple seems to be using a similar approach with its new repair system. But while the company’s new program comes with plenty of warnings, the move remains a big win for customers who don’t want to send their devices to Apple or seek authorized service. They will soon be able to replace their iPhone screen or battery in the comfort of their homes.

Update, November 17, 4:20 AM ET: This article was updated to report that Green Century Capital Management has revoked its shareholder proposal on the right to repair following Apple’s announcement.

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