Hacker News Re-Imagined

Apple announces Self Service Repair

  • 1181 points
  • 10 hours ago

  • @todsacerdoti
  • Created a post

Apple announces Self Service Repair

@bborud 10 hours

Replying to @todsacerdoti 🎙

So from "it would be dangerous to allow service engineers not contracted to us" to "here's a booklet that shows you how to poke the innards of your phone with a screwdriver".

Right now some propaganda copywriter making a living churning out manuscripts for anti-right to repair lobbying just entered the job-seeking market.


@wubbert 10 hours

Wow. What a revolutionary new idea Apple has come up with! I can't believe that no other tech company has come up with the idea for consumers to repair their own devices before.


@braunshedd 10 hours

Genuine Apple batteries are miles better than any of the secondhand ones I've replaced them with (even the iFixit batteries).

Very exited to get my hands on the OEM replacements and extend my laptop's life another 3-5 years


@mcintyre1994 10 hours

I wonder if this will have the same sort of markup that Apple tend to apply to lower end products (eg. cases, that cleaning cloth, watch bands). It seems hard to imagine Apple selling tools at the same sort of price as a DIY store. Definitely sounds like a great move though.


@120photo 5 hours

Damage control


@23B1 10 hours

Obvious right-to-repair defense/play, and not a terrible one. Apple is a leader and if you can own the repair ecosystem while providing some semblance of 'choice'...


@gjvc 10 hours

If it means people can legitimately and easily get their hands on genuine replacement parts then this alone is a step in the right direction.


@vbezhenar 10 hours

If that will work without any hidden issues, I'll be officially Apple fan. That's a huge in my list.


@neop1x 54 minutes

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. But maybe it will at least be possible to buy a genuine battery directly from them (for high price but still).


@stoned 10 hours

This is amazing. Not to be overly cynical, but I suspect this must be related to the global labor shortage. They must be happy to let people do their own labor whenever possible now, if the difference is providing bad service vs letting people get good service elsewhere or at home.

Either way, this appears to be great. Looking forward to seeing how this plays out!


@Synaesthesia 4 hours

What about older iPhones and Macs?


@vadfa 10 hours


Is this supposed to be a human? Someone needs to go back to art school.


@jiveturkey 4 hours

Wait, did they just "invent" the user-replaceable battery?!


@Iolaum 10 hours

Anyone read the fine print?

Will a consumer be able to buy a screen replacement and give it with the broken phone to a third party repair shop to have them do the repair?


@cromka 10 hours

This reads like it's April Fools'.


@beezischillin 7 hours

I don't mean to jinx myself here but I really hope this is part of the beginning of an industry-wide trend (after-all, Microsoft already talked about making their gear more repair-friendly) and if it is, then I'm really happy. I'm thankful for all the people who poured tons of money and countless hours of their lives into activism to make progress happen because the state of things is rather depressing when it comes to actual ownership of products.

As an example, in my country all Apple repair is done by certified 3rd parties and in 2/2 cases the repair work I got back was less than satisfactory. My 2017 MBP arrived with broken speakers after a keyboard repair (obviously) and the iPhone X I sent in for a battery swap started to bulge at the top after less than a month.

If I have the choice to order the components myself I'd rather lose my warranty when I'm close to losing it anyway and just bring it to a person whom I trust with doing a good job.


@mhmmmmmm 10 hours

This is great! I wonder what the prices will look like, there has to be a catch...


@dpkrjb 10 hours

Was this genuinely Apple's push or is there some future regulation I don't know about forcing them to do it?


@artemonster 10 hours

If you wonder whom to thank, his name is Louis Rossmann.


@ramesh31 10 hours

Having access to legitimate Apple displays is huge. Basically the only way you can get a genuine one now is canibalizing another phone. Hard to even believe Apple is doing this.


@snambi 10 hours

This should be called "iRepair".


@janandonly 10 hours

The year is now 2021. It's about time.

Also, the are only doing this now because litigation and legislation in several countries and locales are forcing them to.

Rant out...


@hyperstar 10 hours

Great! now take the (potential) hardware backdoors out of your computers and make them Linux-friendly.


@nixpulvis 10 hours

Don't give Apple to much credit here, they see the writing on the wall. But credit where credit is due.


@fastssd 5 hours

@nostromo 7 hours

Sorry for the tangent, but I'm sad to see even Apple is now pumping out terrible Alegria corporate art.

In 10 years people are going to look back on all this terrible art and wonder what the hell every tech company was thinking.

There's even a subreddit dedicated to hating the Alegria trend: https://www.reddit.com/r/fuckalegriaart/top/?t=all


@hdjjhhvvhga 9 hours

But this is a blatant lie, right in the subtitle. They are not available to individual customers but to Apple-licensed service shops and at significant markup. Shame on you, Apple. Do you believe you will fool anybody with a headline?


@wellthisisgreat 3 hours

Does everyone like these illustrations? I find them almost repulsive somehow


@mrtweetyhack 5 hours

This is going to be great. Let the customer fix your crap, nothing will go wrong.


@podgaj 8 hours

Look at how much is companies change when we put him in a little bit of pressure on them. Imagine what would happen if we could even more pressure on them?


@david-cako 6 hours

Absolutely based and gigachad-pilled.


@solarkraft 10 hours

Apple have pulled too much bullshit for me to trust this right away. I’ll wait for the review of tech repairers. The chance is high that the are some outrageous provisions making this essentially worthless.

Spontaneous guess: The tools will only work with genuine parts and the genuine parts will be uneconomically expensive.


@gruez 10 hours

How is this service going to work with the fact that the display/battery are cryptographically bound to the phone itself? Will they also provide the tool to rebind the parts?


@mrzool 10 hours

After years of disillusion and disappointment, I am so happy to see how things at Apple have apparently taken a turn for the better. With M1 and especially the new MacBooks Pro, they are in the process of fixing their hardware, with incredible results. Now they're taking concrete steps to make repairs more accessible, which was unthinkable just a year ago.

Now, time to fix software and documentation :)


@rd_police 10 hours

That's a huge in my list. If that will work without any hidden issues, I'll be officially Apple fan.


@m3kw9 10 hours

iFixit plunges 10% on news of Apple..


@256DEV 10 hours

It's a move in the right direction but I can't help but feel that this is an example of a massive corporation getting ahead of regulation with a watered down version of right-to-repair than Apple suddenly having a genuine change of heart...

That said, my sincere hope is that this move doesn't dampen enthusiasm amongst people considering switching from Macbooks to Framework laptops. We desperately need a computer manufacturer that puts repairability at the core of their design process and Framework has made such a high quality start that it even with their first attempt it doesn't feel like a compromise!

If you care about really owning your device and being able to repair it take a close look at the caveats Apple may include in the actual details of this programme versus with Framework.


@asymmetric 8 hours

Surprised to see even Apple using Corporate Miami.


@davidhariri 10 hours

This is awesome! I've been doing my own repairs for friends and family since high school. Having access to genuine Apple parts and the tools used by their own technicians will be so helpful. Smart move, Apple.


@Overtonwindow 6 hours

I've been self servicing my Macbook's for years. Decades even. I'm glad to see Apple announcing this new pathway.


@tailspin2019 9 hours

This incredible. I can’t be cynical about this.

It doesn’t matter how or why we got here and it doesn’t matter if it’s only a narrow scope of products to start with, this is still a huge step forward for Apple. It signals a major course correction that is likely to continue on from here.

(And for those saying it’s not enough - this sort of change doesn’t happen overnight!)


@user3939382 10 hours

This feels like the sort of change that’s reacting to an existing legal situation or they’re preempting one. I’m not privy to what that may be though.


@SamuelAdams 10 hours

I suppose the question is how long will parts be available? They’re starting with recent iPhones and MacBooks. Will the parts still be orderable 10 years from now, when it’s most likely these devices will need to be repaired?

Auto manufactures legally have to make parts available for 10-20 years due to recall potential. I used to work at a manufacturing plant that made auto parts and sold them to Ford and Chrysler. The big motor companies HATED this because it cost them so much money to pay manufacturers to make 10 year old parts. It was almost always a net loss for them.

So will there be legal requirements for apple to continue making parts available, even if it’s a net loss?


@imglorp 10 hours

It's not enough. Any third party, should be able to obtain parts--and importantly the auth codes or software to enable them--at reasonable cost.

The reason is you still want to go to the repair provider of your choice, not Apple's proxies.


@doniphon 10 hours

awesome move. hell has frozen!

well done Apple! (assuming there are no exotic tricks in the small details)


@mikepurvis 10 hours

I guess it'll basically be the equivalent of an iFixit kit, but still, I feel like it's different when it's the original manufacturer telling you to do steps that definitely feel like workarounds— you know, melting glue with a hairdryer, that kind of thing.


@javchz 10 hours

I'm glad to hear this. But I'll wait a little bit before getting excited. The last independent repair program... was more a miss than a hit.

I want to hope for the best, wanting this not to be just a PR move, but a genuine effort from someone or a team inside Apple wanting to produce less e-waste, and a lasting devices.

I was watching videos restoring Macbooks from 2007 and was incredible how easy was to serve the most prone-to-fail components and upgrade tech that will eventually get better like RAM. So repair was in Apple's DNA, hope still it is (I'm aware the chance is low).

I will bet despite being counterintuitive easy to repair devices it's good for Apple in the long run. Most people upgrade because of the status that gives you "having the last iPhone", but those cheap 2nd hand devices could be the ideal option for someone to get into their ecosystem for the first time.


@oxplot 10 hours

Best part of this is that because Apple did it, it'll most likely become a trend and other companies will follow suit.


@traveler01 10 hours

Ok, this is cool and I'm pretty astonished by this atleast. But there's a side of me that tells me this move will come with a HUGE CATCH.

As you guys may be aware Apple has been doing everything possible to screw over third party parts. So... now that they will sell OEM parts officialy (and probably quite pricey...) I'm kinda scared that repairs will become even more expensive.

Hope I'm wrong.


@logicalmonster 10 hours

Good on Apple for doing this, assuming there's no tricky gotcha's or other issues that might come up later.

My one criticism of them here has to do with the art style on the images on this page. What's with the weird proportions on the figures? It feels unsettling and inhuman. Apple is arguably the richest corporation in the world. They can't afford to hire a great artist to create an art style that's aesthetic and uplifting and fills people with joy? They have to mimic the bottom of the barrel trendy art style that's god-awful and that bottom of the barrel talentless art students who can't draw love? This is more worthy of criticism to me than them previously borking the repairability: at least that had an understandable financial motive. This is just bad decoration that fulfills no purpose.


@tobyhinloopen 10 hours


But we’ll see


@meibo 10 hours

How is this going to work?

You can't replace cameras, screens or batteries on modern iPhones without the OS falling apart or breaking a sweat until they are re-signed to the phone by Apple, will they patch that out?


@seltzered_ 10 hours

It's neat to see this, but there has to be some discernment around what will be component 'replacing' versus 'repairing'.

The more interesting repairs people like Rossman, ipad rehab, and others do can involve IC replacement or circuit trace repair and some of their complaints around sourcing ICs, not just larger assemblies like a display.

This also flows into expertise and tools around such repairs - you need some knowledge of the PCB schematic (in which there's a cottage industry around selling them like http://www.laptop-schematics.com/ ), how to use board rework tools (you need more than just a soldering iron). I sorta dream of a prosumer 'makerspace' for people to do these things but in practice feel like anyone with these skills just asks to use their employer's lab in the off-hours for such things or tends to their own private homelab.


@acd10j 10 hours

I will not trust this announcement untill Louis Rossmen reviews it, including part prices and gives his thumbs up.


@jeffybefffy519 1 hour

Wonder how this compares to apple care.


@2OEH8eoCRo0 10 hours

This is great news but I'd still like some form of R2R law on the books. I wonder if the purpose of this is to placate the R2R movement so that they're less effective.


@rasz 10 hours

Dont get excited. Article starts with a lie right off the bat:

>Customers join more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers who have access to these parts, tools, and manuals.

AASPs and IRPs do NOT get access to 'tools, manuals and parts'. They get access to batteries and screens at significant markup and repair manuals that say "mail device to Apple" in case of other defects. Yes, AASPs are Prohibited from component level repair. AASP/IRP can not replace a charging port, its that bad.

But I get to buy original display from Apple so its still good? Well, Apple will sell you display assembly at the cost of Fully working second hand device.

>By designing products for durability, longevity, and increased repairability

They had to set Sarcasm Generator all the way to 11 to write this.

What this is is Apple getting scared. They can smell losing their long battle against Right to Repair and are trying to make smallest steps possible giving appearance of caving in.


@pembrook 9 hours

Based on all the dumbfounded and cynical replies, I don't think people understand why this is happening.

Anybody saying this is a response to recent anti-trust headlines doesn't understand how a company the size of Apple works. When an announcement like this is made, it means this program has been in the works for YEARS.

My guess, this is all part of Apple's slow shift towards a recurring revenue services model, and a better integration of customer & business incentives.

It used to be, the worst thing that could happen to Apple was the customer stops upgrading their phone.

But now, when the revenue growth is coming from services instead of hardware, it doesn't pay to piss off customers by making them buy a new phone a year early because the battery died.

The worst thing that can happen now under this new business model is the customer leaves the ecosystem or buys less services because they aren't happy with the hardware.

Hence why you're seeing Apple do things they never would have before. Capitulating on the MacBook Pro and rolling back on the Touch Bar, opening up to more repairability, etc. etc.


@AdmiralAsshat 10 hours

The cynic in me wonders if Apple is simply reading the room on Right to Repair laws and throwing the crowd a bone so that they can say, "You don't need those laws! Apple already provides numerous ways for you to repair your own devices!"

Monitor in the coming months how much they continue to spend on anti-RTR lobbying. That would be the better litmus test of their sincerity.


@martini333 8 hours

Don't get too exited until you see the price for parts and tools...

Apple now allows and backs right to repair on paper. People are gonna buy cheap non-OEM parts anyway.


@remorses 10 hours

This looks like some media trickery to make Apple look like they care about repairability, probably because of the ongoing right to repair case [0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronics_right_to_repair


@datavirtue 4 hours

Third party parts like I can get for my car?


@mherdeg 10 hours

Wonder if I can get my credit-card warranty to cover the cost of self-service repair. I'd love to run a small diagnostic app which generates a PDF file saying

* this device's battery is failing sooner than designed and should be replaced,

* the first-party warranty would have covered this repair and expired 3 months ago

* the OEM replacement will be $279 + $15 shipping

Upload that to the CC warranty portal and, voila, free $294 statement credit.

Not at all clear from this announcement that they're providing enough tools to unlock that end-to-end scenario -- will consumers be able to download Apple Services Toolkit 2?. It's also really not clear that their partners would be very happy if it were this easy to get extended-warranty coverage; you can imagine Amex exerting some pressure on the Apple Pay relationship if MacBook extended-warranty claims went too high. But it's nice to dream.


@Aissen 10 hours

Did they just announce that they'll simply comply with EU right to repair law ?


@sheinsheish 10 hours



@boppo1 10 hours

I was an android devotee, but this makes me think twice.


@Philip-J-Fry 10 hours

How long will they support the iPhone 12 and 13 though? Will they support repairs for as long as they support software updates? I imagine it's a bit harder to keep old parts in production.

The next step should be to allow others to create compatible parts when Apple decides to drop support entirely. I doubt they would though, that's why they've locked parts to specific motherboards.


@dotdi 10 hours


I was completely blindsided by this. I do regular laptop and smartphone repairs for friends and family and getting original parts often is difficult or even impossible. There are many scammers around that will sell "original OEM" i.e. cheap knock-off trash.

Ebay is OK-ish for second hand parts but sometimes you are just out of luck.

I'm pretty excited about this, to say the least.


@marianov 10 hours

I'm replacing my 10yo Thinkpad camera thia week. Guess what will be my next laptop? Wish phones were like that


@kraig911 10 hours

Well now I've seen everything. Any one else check on hell has it frozen over?


@selimnairb 9 hours

This really sucks. Why not partner with iFixit? JFC, leave some business opportunities for other companies. Do they have to extract all value? How much is enough? (sadly, I know the answer).


@KayL 7 hours

It's good. Last time I took my macbook to their bar. I want to repair a stick key but they requested me to replace the whole bottom becasue they saw some water overthere. The final bill is about $800 USD.


@hellbannedguy 10 hours

This is what what we have wanted forever.

Hell---I might even buy one of their new products now.

Was it that hard Apple.


@ocdtrekkie 10 hours

This is great, but let's be honest here: They saw which way the legal winds were moving on right to repair, and saw how bad the PR for opposing it was.

Good for them for getting on board before a court ordered them to change their behavior, but let's not pretend Apple wanted to do this.


@londons_explore 9 hours

I'm really surprised Apple doesn't simply add a sensor to detect the case being opened, and then have software pop up a dialog box forcing details of the repair to be entered into some kind of 'service history' before the device is usable again.

Then they can use this to deny warranty coverage for repairs done by third parties without their accreditation.


@ComputerGuru 9 hours

So recent iPhones will complain of a non-genuine screen even if you take the screen from another iPhone (I found out the hard way), because apparently the screen has the serial number programmed into it and the iPhone checks for a serial number mismatch to determine if it’s a “fake.” Does Apple supply the repair stores with the programmers to change the screen serial? Or do you have to just-in-time order the screen once you have the serial number you’ll be repairing?

What this did for me? Four days ago, I dropped my phone (again) and the screen broke (again) and this time when I had the option of choosing a genuine iPhone screen or a Chinese knockoff, I ordered the knockoff.


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