Apple’s extensive consumer repair service, currently accessible, beats Android over time

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Apple’s Self Service Repair Store went live today, offering genuine parts and how-to manuals for anyone with the technical know-how — and the bravery — to fix their device independently (via The Verge). It’s only available in the US to start, though it’s coming to Europe and other regions later this year. As initially announced, its lineup of parts currently supports iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, along with the 2022 iPhone SE. The company is still planning to expand into M1-based Macs later this year, though there’s no specific timetable just yet.

Late last year, Apple unveiled its DIY repair programme, which was a huge triumph for right-to-repair advocates everywhere and certainly prompted Google and Samsung to follow suit. We had a lot of questions at the time about when it will be released, how much it would cost, and when the firm would add compatibility for older phones. With today’s official debut, we’re getting some answers to some of those questions.

Highlights

  • Don’t expect to save a ton of cash on some of these repairs, though. The battery kits for the iPhone 12 and 13 series cost $69 upfront — the same prices Apple charges if it does a replacement in-house. You’ll only save some money once you send in your old parts for recycling, after which the company issues a credit. In this case, you’ll get $24.15 in return, bringing the total price down to just shy of $45.

  • All of the repair manuals are available online as PDFs, outlining the necessary tools, parts, and steps to take, along with warnings about what to avoid. Apple says the parts it’s offering to consumers are identical to those sold to partnered repair shops worldwide at the same exact price. The site itself doesn’t have that usual Apple shine to it — it’s operated by a third-party company called SPOT, which means all orders, shipping, and returns are independently managed. It’s not too dissimilar to Google and Samsung partnering with iFixit to manage their respective programs when they launch later this year.

Apple still recommends most of its customers visit a professional repair service, but there’s no doubt that many of these fixes can be done by those with a certain level of expertise. On the Android side, this launch gives us a good preview of what to expect from Google and Samsung — though, hopefully, with even more savings upfront.

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