Dubbed Self Service Repair, the program will launch in early 2022 in the U.S. and expand to other countries throughout the year.
To begin, the tech giant will limit Self Service Repair to its two most recent iPhone models — the 12 and 13 — and their most common fixes, such as screen damage, battery life, and camera issues. Eventually, it will offer parts and tools for Mac computers.
"In the past three years, Apple has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and training, and now we’re providing an option for those who wish to complete their own repairs," Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said.
After reviewing Apple's official repair manual, customers will be able to order over 200 individual parts and tools on a dedicated Self Service Repair website. Once the repair is completed, used parts can be returned to Apple for store credit.
The option to complete at-home repairs is an apparent concession to "Right to Repair" pressure. In May, the Federal Trade Commission called out Apple's seeming attempts to stymie self-repairs, as well as repairs using non-Apple parts.
"Apple also restricts access to service manuals, and has issued copyright take-down notices when they are posted online [and] tying components to the logic board, which can make repairs uneconomic," a 2021 FTC report reads.
The same report points out additional restrictions on Apple's Independent Repair Providers: "The contract stipulates repair technicians may be subject to ‘unannounced audits and inspections by Apple' … And if independent repair shops leave the program, the contract actually includes a term that gives Apple the right to ‘continue inspecting repair shops for up to five years’ after it ends."
Controversy aside, it goes without saying that only those competent enough to make electronic repairs should use Apple's new service — still, I'm sure we're in for many hilarious "Oops, I tried it at home" horror stories in just a few months.