- Apple’s self-service repair program allows you to order parts from Apple and rent the tools needed to repair certain recent iPhone and MacBook models.
- Some repairs are challenging and should only be attempted if you have experience working with electronics.
Due to hardware designs that almost require customers to take their iPhones to authorized service centers, Apple has come under fire for making it virtually impossible to repair its products at home.
That’s changing with Apple’s self-service repair program; There is now an official way to do your own repairs after ordering genuine Apple replacement parts and renting tools from the Apple website.
What is Apple Self-Service Repair?
Apple’s self-service repair program is designed to allow customers to perform common repairs on Apple products.
While the product range may expand in the future, the program only covers certain recent iPhone and MacBook models. On the iPhone side, these include the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 families (which includes the base phones as well as Mini, Pro, and Pro Max models), as well as the third-generation iPhone SE from 2022. You can also use the service to repair the following MacBook models: MacBook Air (M1, 2020); MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020); MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021); and MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021).
For each phone model, you can choose from half a dozen repairs including battery, bottom speaker, camera, screen, touch motor, and SIM tray replacements. To that end, Apple offers access to online repair manuals, as well as an easy-to-use store for ordering parts and tools.
Who Should Use Apple Self-Service Repair?
For now, only certain iPhone and MacBook owners, as specified in the previous section, have the option to use Apple’s automatic repair program. But even if you have one of those models and a compatible problem (like the need to replace the battery or the screen), keep in mind that it is better that you go to an authorized service center. Apple’s self-service repair program is intended for users with some knowledge and experience in electronic repair.
If you’re new to working with electronics, it’s possible to follow the instructions in Apple’s repair manual, but the process can be challenging and there’s a chance of accidentally causing more damage to your phone or computer.
Also, while Apple allows you to rent and purchase most of the essential tools to perform the repair, Apple generally only includes unique and specialized tools that you can’t find anywhere else. You may still need access to more common tools, which you will need to purchase separately to complete all repair steps.
The bottom line? While this program is available to iPhone and MacBook owners every day, those with technical experience will have more success with it.
Potential Costs of Apple Self-Service Repair
You must purchase the appropriate parts package for the repair you wish to perform, as well as rent the tool kit to perform the repair.
The cost of the parts package varies depending on the model of iPhone or MacBook you are repairing, as well as the type of repair you need to perform. Using the iPhone 12 for comparison, here are the prices for each kit of parts (price may vary by a few dollars for other models):
- Drums: $70.99
- Bottom speaker: $49.11
- Camera: $116.61
- Display: $269.95
- SIM tray: $7.20
- Taptic engine: $43.21
For most repairs, the tool kit costs $49 for a seven-day rental, but also includes an additional temporary authorization of approximately $1,000 that will be charged if you don’t return the kit. You may also be charged for any missing or damaged tools.
For SIM tray repair, there is no need to rent a tool kit.
How to use Apple Self-Service Repair
While Apple now offers self-service repair as a DIY approach to fixing your iPhone or MacBook, it’s clearly not for everyone. But if you want to try to fix your device, here’s how to use Apple’s self-service repair:
1. Find the repair manual for your device. Visit Apple’s self-service repair website and click iPhone or MacBook at the top of the page to filter the results by models you can repair at home. In the search results, click the manual for the phone you want to repair.
2. Check the repair manual. Read the manual to make sure you understand the scope of the repair you need to do and to decide if you are comfortable doing the repairs. If you want to proceed, make a note of the Repair Manual ID, which is a six-letter code found in the Tools and Parts section at the beginning of the manual. Apple requires this to ensure that you have reviewed the manual.
3. Order the parts. Go to the Parts & Tools Store page and use the filters at the top of the page to choose your phone or MacBook model and the type of repair you’d like to perform. Then, in the Genuine Apple Parts section, click Add to Cart for the parts package associated with the repair you want to perform. This will always be the first entry and marked Recommended; all other entries are individual kit pieces, which you can purchase separately. To add this to your cart, you will need to enter your phone’s IMEI or computer serial number along with the repair manual ID you registered earlier.
4. Sort the tools. Scroll down to the Apple Tools section and click Add to Cart to rent the tool kit (it is marked as 7 day rental). You can also purchase individual tools if you prefer.
5. Complete your order. At the bottom of the page, click check cart and complete the order.
6. Complete your repair. After the tools and parts arrive, you have seven days to complete the repair and return the tool kit following the included shipping instructions.