Apple doesn’t have a great track record with making it easy to perform DIY repairs on the company’s hardware, usually insisting that you take your gear to an Apple Store or authorized repair shop instead.

But starting next year, the company plans to begin offering tools, parts, and documentation for customers that want to repair hardware at home. The new Apple Self Service Repair will launch in the US in early 2022 before eventually rolling out to additional countries later in the year.

At launch, Apple says the program will offer repair resources for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series phones, before expanding to include Macs with Apple M1 processors in the future.

Apple still recommends most folks looking to repair broken hardware go to an authorized technician, but the company says its new program will make repair manuals available online, and after reviewing them, customers will be able to purchase the necessary replacement parts and tools from a new Self Service Repair Online Store.

Apple says it will “focus on the most commonly serviced modules” at first, including iPhone displays, batteries and cameras. But the company plans to offer additional replacement parts starting later in 2022.

The folks at iFixit, an online repair shop that has been one of many organizations pushing for Right to Repair laws, say that Apple’s announcement is a major advancement, since it flies in the face of Apple’s earlier claims that allowing customers to repair their own hardware would be dangerous.

But it’s also still a limited step. Apple still requires customers to buy official parts from the company’s store and doesn’t support repurposing a display, battery, or other components from another phone for use in repairs. And while it’s unclear if customers will have to pay the same prices for replacement parts and tools as independent repair shops, iFixit notes that Apple has a reputation for charging a lot for those parts – an iPhone 12 screen, for example, costs independent repair professionals $270 (the same price Apple charges to replace a screen for an out-of-warranty devices, meaning that for the most part it’s going to be cheaper for a customer to have Apple replace the screen).

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  1. iphone battery replacement has always been tricky… I wonder if they will change it to be easier. I would not be surprised if the sum of tool and material prices are equal to the apple store full service price (meaning no net savings to customer).

  2. As someone who is a long time user (and hater) of Macs, Apple has been on a hot-streak with positive changes to their Mac products in the past year.

    Starting with the move to Apple Silicon, then they bring back the Magsafe charger, and bring back some of the previously abandoned IO ports on Macbook Pros. It also seems that they’re ditching their famous “fake-thin” design used in most of their products (the new Macbook Pro is thick-edged and boxy).

    It seems like a slow shift away from their previous “form over function” approach. I’m hoping that this continues with the next updates to their entry-level Macbook lineup.

    1. And all that they needed to do is get rid of Johnny Ive.

      But now they’re going a bit crazy in the opposite direction. That notch in a laptop screen is just really daft.

    2. I personally think that they’re doing all these changes at once on purpose, and they’ve been planning the change for years. To make it look like they’ve “really turned around” when to Apple, aside from the M1, everything is relatively minor (although it makes a big difference to the end user) and you’re still highly dependent on Apple for getting your money’s worth out of everything. (I mean, did you see that screed that one spokesman went on against “sideloading”?)