How Apple aims to create iPhone repair experts at home

New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic taught us several things at home, and fixing electronics on our own was one of those, as human help remained elusive for months.

Apple has now decided to allow tech-savvy users repair their iPhones and other products with genuine parts from the comfort of their homes, under the industry-first ‘Self Service Repair’ programme.

The move will not only curtail Apple Service Centre visits for common stuff that can be fixed at home — like iPhone display, battery and camera — but also help create an army of repair experts in the process, increasing the users’ knowledge base around parts, accessories and beyond.

After gauging the initial response, the tech giant will introduce additional repairs at home later next year.

Available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, and soon to be followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips, the Self Service Repair initiative will be available early next year in the US and expand to additional countries throughout 2022.

According to industry experts, the move is set to herald a new beginning for the smartphone industry in general, and consumer electronics in particular.

“By offering greater access to Apple genuine parts, Apple could potentially open-up new revenue streams in the after-sales service market. For instance, Apple could launch a potential Apple Repair certification programme aimed at educating the tech-savvy users, and in the process create a community of Apple-trusted repair experts,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS.

There will be a ‘Repair Manual’ for a customer to begin with. Then a customer will place an order for the Apple genuine parts and tools using the Apple Self Service Repair online store. Following the repair, customers who return their used part for recycling will receive credit towards their purchase.

According to Glen Cardoza, senior analyst with Counterpoint Research, while many consumers might see this as a value addition, the cost and effort for the consumer will only be known when this service starts early next year.

“Consumers only think of spending on repairs when the need arises. iPhone 12 and 13 series owners in the US and other mature markets will have a choice to either buy the parts, tools and manuals or give it directly to the authorised service centre. Either way, Apple stands to gain from the sale of equipment or service charges,” Cardoza told IANS.

Consumers will have a choice to either ‘do it themselves’ or opt for authorised Apple repair. The ability of a lay consumer is dependent upon the simplicity of Apple’s approach towards the parts, tools and the manual.

“This is a path-breaking advancement in the smartphone repair industry. Consumers are most likely to wait and watch while this service unfolds early next year,” Cardoza added.

According to Ram, the self-repair programme is primarily directed at tech savvy consumers who would benefit from such capabilities to repair their iPhones themselves, and not the mainstream consumers.