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Apple Self Service Repair program

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Apple Self Service Repair program
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Anonymous Coward
Join Date: May 2004
2021-11-17, 12:12

Apple parts, tools, and manuals will be available to customers early next year, beginning with iPhone 12 and 13 battery, camera, and display. The replaced parts can be turned in for recycling and customers will receive credit toward future purchases. The next step will be computers with M1 chips.

My aunt has been wanting me to replace the battery for her MacBook Air, but sadly, this will not be part of the program.
The Ban Hammer
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
2021-11-17, 12:30

This all looks nice on the surface, but there are some caveats:
  • There are a number of specialized tools required, for instance to reattach displays properly, and those tools are expensive;

    There are a number of teeny, tiny cables that break easily and you will be on the hook should you break one;

    This program does not appear to cover warranty service (or AppleCare+), so this is for out-of-warranty repairs only;

    Certain repairs are going to catch the inexperienced by surprise, such as battery replacements. For instance, Apple requires a battery to fail a battery test (and it must be an Apple battery) or they will not replace it. If you want to replace it anyway, it is significantly more expensive;

    The electronics are very sensitive to electrical discharge, and I'm guessing there will be a number of brand new logic boards that get zapped and cost the end user a chunk of change. I can't wait for the complaints to begin;

    Apple is merciless when a certified tech screws up a repair, so don't expect any love when an untrained individual does the same;

Read the manual very carefully, folks.

And for those of you who have "done it before", using Apple-certified parts will be a very different game than the "hack-a-thon" that is the 3rd-part repair network. If you bark up an Apple part you won't be getting your money back.

I suspect the only real reason Apple is doing this is that they see a new profit center. The tools are expensive as hell and Apple found a way to sell them while skirting around the "right-to-repair" movement, and Apple knows that stubborn do-it-yerselfers are going to break a lot of expensive parts, which will give them a giant "told you so" to sling around. This is Apple "compromising" and letting people break their stuff, which will be financially beneficial to Apple. And, in the end, it will be beneficial to us, because when people break the $500 logic board the first time, they'll bring it to us the second time. It will be out of warranty, and we'll make money.

Here's an example: Late last week a dude brought in a MacBook Air that he was "repairing himself" and he broke an expensive part in the process (the track pad). He cannot return the busted part (even though it was 3rd party — his fault, you know) and wanted us to just "pop in an Apple part". Nope. It was an unauthorized, 3rd-part battery replacement and Apple will not replace it. So, he's stuck. No fixy! Apple will not take a 3rd-party battery due to the lower build quality and higher probability that the battery will cause a fire, whether during the repair or in transit. Fast-forward to next year and this same guy uses Apple's fix-it-yerself program. He orders all the appropriate kit, and still manages to muck up his track-pad. Ooops. What to do? Oh, I know: Now he has to replace the entire top-case (keyboard and all) and it only costs him $495. Well, at least he saved … something?

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Last edited by kscherer : 2021-11-17 at 13:00.
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
2021-11-17, 13:17

I'm thrilled to see the self-repair as an option and know that even I don't want to open my phone and I have those tools! BUT!!!! The fact that I'll be able to with blessing is awesome.

Personally, I'll pay for the battery swap at the Apple Store.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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Mr. Farmiga
Join Date: May 2004
2021-11-17, 13:32

Yeah, I'm just too clumsy, impatient (and worsening eyesight) to go monkeying around with stuff like this. All I've ever been comfortable with (and have done) is putting in RAM and a hard drive. Oh, and a battery. Back when all those things were easily user-replaceable/upgradeable. These days? Nope. I'll leave any and all screen, touchpad, battery, port, camera, power supply, etc. stuff to authorized pros who can probably do it in their sleep.

I'll work on/tweak/customize/setup my guitars (not amps!) because it's really hard to mess that up if you've done it for 30+ years. But fine, delicate digital stuff that could bring down an entire iPhone or Mac if I botch it? No thanks!

But, yeah...Apple isn't doing this out of some pure good/concern. There's an monetary angle, of selling the stuff to do it (and to do it right once Johnny DIY wrecks it).

Good call, Timmy.
Sneaky Punk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2021-11-17, 15:29

Apple isn’t doing this to help people fix their machines, it’s to head off all the right to repair stuff that’s coming soon. If that wasn’t on the horizon, no way they would be doing this.
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
2021-11-17, 15:40

You are likely exactly right on that one.
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