Apple Self-Service Program Unveiled as Reporter Receives £79 Repair Kit from Apple

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*Image courtesy of TheVerge.

The Right to Repair movement has spread around the world with one simple goal: to enable regular users to repair their phones, including the simplest maintenance, such as replacing an old battery.

Apple resisted the idea for years, but basically forced users to go to Apple Stores for those simple repairs, until it all seemed to change overnight with the new Apple Self-Service program. The program launched in the US in April with a promise to let customers repair broken screens, batteries and cameras on iPhones for the first time ever using Apple’s own parts and tools.

It sounded like a big win for the repair movement, but TheVerge reporter Sean Holister tried it out and disenchanted with the unnecessary complexity, excessive charges and risks that even a simple battery replacement entails.

Look, if you opt for traditional iPhone DIY kits from companies like iFixit, you get a small package with the necessary screwdriver bits and tools, and it’s all a pretty straightforward process. Not with this official Apple Self-Service program. Instead of a small kit, the reporter received two giant Pelican cases containing 79 pounds of tools. 79 pounds! Just to replace an iPhone battery!

Complexity goes beyond repairing

In short, Apple has provided industrial grade machines and tools for easy screen repair! Not only that, but after the repair was completed, the iPhone that had undergone the technical operation did not recognize the new battery. The “Unknown Item” warning flashed on the screen. This wasn’t a coincidence, it’s designed that way, yet another step that requires you to call Apple’s third-party logistics company so they can validate the part you replaced. However, don’t expect to be able to do this from your repaired iPhone as it needs to be put into “Diagnostic Mode” so you’ll need a separate computer.

Last but not least, it’s the price of the whole endeavor. An Apple Store charges $69 for battery replacement, while the Self-Service procedure includes the following:
  • $69 just for the battery
  • $49 to rent Apple equipment
  • $1,200 credit card reservation for the toolkit, in case the tools are not returned within 7 days

Yes, you will lose both your time and your money.

Apple Self-Service Seems Designed to Fail

At this point, the complexity of Apple’s Self-Service program is so obvious that it seems designed to convince users NOT to make repairs themselves. Apple can always say that they offered the option, but users showed no interest, and in this way it will dominate the story and suggest that users have no interest in such a program, when in fact it is the program itself that is designed to way too complicated.

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