Apple has been planning to allow its customers and users to be able to repair their own devices as the pressure from regulators and consumers around the world is being grown, they are all demanding manufacturers to ease restrictions on fixing products and make it easy for to repair them.
On Wednesday, the company announced a new program that will make Apple spare parts available for purchase beginning early next year. Self Service Repair is a program that will allow users to repair broken devices using repair manuals that Apple will make available on its website.
Apple (AAPL) intends to begin with some of the most frequently replaced components, such as displays, batteries, and camera modules. The company claims that more than 200 parts and tools will be available at launch, with plans to add more later next year. The repair program will be limited to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 users at first, but it will later be expanded to Mac computers that use Apple’s new in-house M1 chip.
Apple said it will charge individual users the same prices it charges independent repair providers when the program formally launches next year, but it will not reveal the prices of its spare parts until then.
Apple’s move comes as the “right to repair” movement puts increasing pressure on electronics manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of everything from tractors to hospital equipment, to loosen restrictions on independent device repair shops or DIY repairs.
Companies have been chastised for employing strategies that make it more difficult for independent repair shops to access devices, such as the use of non-removable memory or batteries, or the use of special glue to seal devices. Critics argue that these tactics will increase consumer costs, harm independent repair shops, and harm the environment.
In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to issue rules requiring businesses to allow customers to perform their own repairs. Days later, the FTC unanimously voted to condemn existing manufacturer repair restrictions, with Lina Khan, the agency’s chair, vowing to “root out” illegal repair restrictions that may violate antitrust and consumer protection laws in the United States.
Regulators in the United Kingdom and Europe have passed or are considering legislation requiring device manufacturers to provide spare parts to their customers.