Although Apple’s Self Service Program is a step in the right direction to help customers repair their devices, it’s far from perfect. In fact, there are multiple issues with the service that need to be addressed and resolved if it is to truly help Apple customers going forward. We explain some of these issues below.
Apple’s Self Service Program
At the end of 2021, Apple announced the launch of a Self Service Repair Program, which is a huge step in the right direction as far as environmental issues with the brand are concerned. In the past, Apple has vocally lobbied against the right to repair movement, causing many people to turn elsewhere for their tech. But in spite of the positive strides toward reform, there are some challenges that need to be addressed:
First and most glaringly, many of the replacement parts that customers require to repair their Apple devices are prohibitively expensive. In many instances, they can buy a brand new device for slightly more than the cost of repairs. At present, Apple has not announced the specific costs associtated with the new service, and when people turn to Apple-approved technicians, they almost always find the costs suggested are far too high to consider. It will be interesting to see how this changes in the near future.
In the early days of the new service, Apple will only repair a few items on some of their devices. For example, these include the iPhone display, battery and camera, but only for the most recent two generations. Again, while this is a positive step in the right direction, it falls way short of a comprehensive repair program. Anyone with an Apple laptop will have to wait, as there is no indication yet that any parts will be available within the Self Service Program.
When Apple released a statement regarding the launch of the Self Service Program, executives mentioned that it was “intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices.” This is troubling, as most people don’t have the necessary knowledge or experience to repair phones and other devices. In reality, it means that most people will still have to visit a verified Apple technician to repair their devices, which will drive up the costs associated with the repairs.
Now that Apple has at least made some inroads into repairs, we need to encourage them to do more. You can sign up for the Tulipshare campaign that is demanding that Apple adopts Fair and Accessible Right to Repair policies. If the campaign is successful, Apple will be forced to take further action as far as technology waste is concerned and allow their customers to increase the life of their devices.