This morning, Apple announced the opening of its Self Service Repair Store:
The new online store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools, enabling customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices to complete repairs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and iPhone SE (3rd generation), such as the display, battery, and camera. Later this year the program will also include manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Mac computers with Apple silicon.
The parts available are the same components, at the same prices, that Apple sells to authorized repair providers. Likewise, the tools are the same. The latter can be rented for $49 if a user doesn’t want to pay more and end up owning some tools they may not ever need again.
In a paper published today, Apple addresses some FAQs about the program. It’s worth skimming.
The manuals needed for repairs are published on Apple’s support website but the Self Service Repair store can be found at selfservicerepair.com I was expecting these parts to be sold on Apple’s website, but the company has decided to spin this secondary website up for purchasing parts and tools.
The site is decidedly different from Apple’s own. The design is basic and feels pretty cheap.
(When’s the last time you saw Apple use Roboto for a typeface?)
servicepartsortools.com domain, but that domain is currently just parked.
Whois data for the domain points to a company in West Chester, PA named Communications Test Design. That company handles logistics for partners around the world, and my guess is that Apple hired CTDI to handle the Self Service Repair Store for it.
This doesn’t seem to be the first deal between Apple and CTDI, as the company seems to be involved in Apple’s trade-in program.
I don’t mind Apple outsourcing this; the company has partners for all sorts of things throughout its supply chain. However, I wish the parts and tools store looked and felt more official. When tweeting about this earlier this morning, I got a lot of replies along the lines of “I would have thought this website was fake if Apple hadn’t linked directly to it.”
I can’t really disagree with those assessments, and I worry that the site itself may turn some people off from tackling their own repairs. It’s easy to take a cynical approach to this and assume Apple is trying to dissuade people from doing their own repairs. I don’t believe that, but I understand why so many people landed on that conclusion.
At the end of the day, this is good news. Being able to repair your own devices should be par for the course, and this is a big step toward that end. Using official Apple parts and manuals to repair an iPhone — without voiding its warranty — empowers consumers in a new way. I’m excited this has finally launched, and can’t wait to see what sort of Mac components end up on the store in the future.
But yeah, the website for it kinda stinks.