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BOSTON -- Apple’s long-awaited Self Service Repair program went into effect Wednesday, offering new repair options for consumers who wish to conduct DIY repairs. The company announced the program last fall, as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state legislatures, the Biden administration, and shareholders pressured Apple to reverse its long standing policy of restricting access to parts and service instructions.
At first, Self Service Repair will apply to iPhone 12, 13 and iPhone SE (3rd generation). The company has pledged to apply the program to some other devices moving forward.
U.S. PIRG Senior Right to Repair Campaign Director Nathan Proctor made the following statement:
“The dam is starting to give way: Right to Repair is breaking through. Apple users can now, for the first time, order a new screen or battery to repair their iPhones. We’ve seen a lot of signs that Right to Repair was making progress, but this is a ‘rubber hits the road’ moment.
“We are really pleased to see public access to Apple service guides for the first time in decades. However, it’s clear that Apple is doubling down on requiring each part be encoded to a specific phone, and then requiring a connection to Apple to verify the part before it gains full functionality. I don’t see how locking parts to a specific device and requiring manufacturer approval to install it offers any benefit to the product owner, but it does allow Apple to maintain a lot of control over the repair process. It also means that Apple can decide to stop supporting repairs. If Apple decides that a phone is too old, they can effectively put an expiration date on any product needing repair, defeating one of the most important aspects of repair -- minimizing toxic electronic waste.
“While this is a start, there are still too many hoops to jump through to fix phones. As it’s becoming clear that Apple and other manufacturers can give us the Right to Repair, we should require them to. And we should have more options. Not just one set of parts. Not just a few manufacturers. No product should be tossed in the scrap heap, wasting money and adding to our toxic electronic waste problem, because the manufacturer doesn’t properly support repair.”
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