Have you ever wanted to try repairing your iPhone at home? Starting next year, you’ll be able to do so.
Apple has created a self-service repair program — due to launch in early 2022 — that will let customers fix their devices on their own with the help of authentic Apple tools and parts.
As The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday (Nov. 17), the tech giant plans to roll out the program early next year, focusing on some of the most commonly repaired components, such as phone display, batteries and cameras, with other repair options added later in 2022.
The decision by Apple follows a ruling by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in July — which was itself encouraged by a White House executive order — that barred electronic makers from restricting independent shops from repairing customer devices.
As PYMNTS noted earlier in the year, the thinking is that these independent businesses can’t compete when larger companies release products that aren’t easily fixed, or can’t be fixed in an economical fashion. This lack of choice can inflate repair prices to the point where buying a new product is cheaper than getting something fixed.
Read more: FTC Votes to Restore Consumers’ Right to Repair
While the so-called “right to repair” rule covered a broad swath of companies, the FTC used Apple as an example when it reported on the matter.
For years, the iPhone maker had strict rules for indie computer repair shops that wanted to work on its phones, laptops and other devices, putting them at risk for random inspections and audits.
Apple says this new repair program would be available first for its most recent iPhone models, followed by Mac computers using the company’s M1 chips.
According to the Journal story, Apple says the program is “intended for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices,” and that most consumers would still need to consult a professional.
People who want to fix their devices at home will have that right, provided they agree to terms and conditions that say their warranties could be voided by damaging a device during the repair.
But Gene Munster, a tech analyst and managing partner at the venture-capital firm Loup Ventures, said it is not likely that many people will go this route. “Most people don’t want to fix their own phone,” he told the Journal. “This is just largely for show and kind of appeases a very small segment of owners.”
He added that Apple has likely been aware of the right-to-repair movement, and that the government’s action “might have been the final push to get Apple to do it.”