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Apple's new Self Service Repair program comes in for criticism already

Apple debuts Self Service Repair. (Source: Apple)
Apple debuts Self Service Repair. (Source: Apple)
Apple has only just announced its new initiative to facilitate iPhone users who want or need to fix their own devices, touting it as a new, right-to-repair-friendly way to increase access to this option. However, as some detractors point out, some aspects of the service may prove to be inadequate, expensive and even invasive in some respects.

Apple has only just started its Self Service Repair program, a new way of accessing parts and tools with which to fix one's iPhone. It is available in the United States alone at present; nevertheless, according to the critics it has already gained, that is far from its only problem.

For a start, some have already observed that there are at least one or two cases in which Self Service Repair costs more than sending a device to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Repair Provider. A battery replacement for an iPhone 13 Pro is one example - on the other hand, there is a rebate involved in exchange for returning the damaged battery to Apple.

However, there is also the matter of the US$1,000 deposit that is required in order to rent the Tool Kits necessary to carry out repairs such as display replacements, and might thus be forfeit should this equipment be sent back in a condition Apple deems unacceptable, or later than its authorized 7-day window.

On that note, the 13 Pro and its Pro Max, vanilla and Mini siblings are on a very short list of iPhones that are eligible for Self Service Repair. They are joined by the 12 series and SE (2022) only, which might lead to dissatisfaction for those with older models and those who believe the right to repair makes tech more sustainable through keeping devices alive and useful for longer.

Finally, it seems that Self Service Repair may fail to keep software-locking and user-privacy concerns at bay. A valid iPhone IMEI is required to order parts such as replacement displays and batteries, thereby implying that these parts are sent linked to the device in question and can be used by no other.

In cases of display replacements, the user is required to grant Apple access to data including, and not limited to, serial numbers, device names, some aspects of call history, and app-usage data from not only the iPhone being repaired, but any other accessories or other hardware paired to it. Any attempt to decline these terms reportedly results in the sudden absence of Face ID once the smartphone is out back together.

All in all, this new program may not be the right-to-repair cure-all the Cupertino giant may have hoped for - nor may it put any shops out of businiess any time soon.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 04 > Apple's new Self Service Repair program comes in for criticism already
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-04-30 (Update: 2022-04-30)