iFixit hails 'huge' Apple repair changes, but wants more

Apple Ifixit
Apple Ifixit (Image credit: iFixit)

What you need to know

  • iFixit has hailed the 'huge' changes Apple has announced to self-servicing devices.
  • It says it is a "remarkable concession to our collective competency".
  • However, the company wants Apple to go further.

iFixit has hailed the 'huge changes' Apple has announced to Self Service repairs on devices like its best iPhones, the iPhone 12 and 13, but says there is more to be done.

In a statement to iMore iFixit said:

Today marks yet another major step in the journey towards enabling people to fix their stuff. In a huge concession to repair advocates, Apple has announced that starting early next year they will offer parts, guides, and calibration tools to consumers in the US.

In a press release iFixit stated:

Apple's landmark DIY repair announcement is a remarkable concession to our collective competency. Apple has long claimed that letting consumers fix their own stuff would be dangerous, both to us and our stuff. Now, with renewed governmental interest in repair markets—and soon after notably bad press for parts pairing—Apple has found unexpected interest in letting people fix the things they own.

iFixit says the news is "huge for everyone" but that iFixit is especially excited that "Apple is finally acknowledging that lots of us have the technical know-how to fix our own stuff." It also says the move highlights how wrong some arguments against self-repair were:

This move invalidates many of the arguments Apple and other manufacturers have used against the right to repair. Liability? You understand the risks, and won't sue Apple if you damage your device, or stab yourself in the palm with a screwdriver. Warranties? Although it's illegal to void a warranty for a DIY repair, people worry. Apple's program should tell motivated fixers that their warranty is intact.

However, iFixit says the move "isn't the open-source repair revolution we've sought through our fight for the right to repair" and that Apple is using its "infamously restrictive Independent Repair Provider (IRP) program" as a base model, which still has restrictions like serial scanning and allowing parts to move from one device to another.

The company claims "Apple is also not setting profits aside to fix more devices" and that "there's a financial incentive built into both IRP and this self-service repair program to leave the fixing to Apple." Apple has denied this previously by stating that it has never made a profit on its Genius Bar repair service in stores. The release continues:

Offering official parts to anybody who wants one, pricey or otherwise, could also justify Apple's further locking down of parts through serialization. If there's now an "official" way to avoid warning messages and a loss of features when you need to replace a battery, camera, or display, there's less incentive for Apple to help those using third-party parts, or even those salvaged from other iPhones.

iFixit also claimed that there was nothing to stop Apple "knocking a year or 4 off that commitment" to provide parts for up to 5-7 years of devices, a totally unfounded claim.

The release closes:

So we'll keep fighting for laws that keep Apple and other manufacturers honest. But we're thrilled to see Apple admit what we've always known: Everyone's enough of a genius to fix an iPhone.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9