iFixit rips apart Apple's $2,000 iPhone repair kit so you don't have to

Apple Repair Iphone
Apple Repair Iphone (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • iFixit has taken apart three devices offered via the Self Service Repair program.
  • $2,000-worth of hardware is taken apart in a new YouTube video.
  • Apple allows people to rent the hardware required to fix screens and replace batteries.

Apple's Self Service Repair Program has caused quite the stir since it went live in April with Apple shipping $2,000-worth of rental gear out depending on what you need to do. Now, iFixit has now done the one thing we were all waiting for — it's taken it all apart to see how it ticks.

The answer, as you might expect from Apple, is that the three devices that iFixit took apart are over-engineered in some places and just odd in others. If you use Apple's Self Service Repair Store you're going to be sent some big, hefty hardware — and now iFixit is showing you what its innards look like.

You might have seen our recent review of the Apple Self Service Repair program. We'd used Apple's rental tools for that video but we did order our own set too. We own these ones which can only mean one thing. It's time for a teardown!

Throughout the video we get to see the iFixit team take apart three of Apple's repair tools, noting how ball bearings were used to create an ultra-smooth action when they didn't necessarily need to be, and much more. In one machine, Apple appears to have used parts that have half of their features disabled — one screen may have touch capabilities that aren't being used, while a circuit board has buttons that are completely disabled.

The Self Service Repair program and store "offers more than 200 individual parts and tools, enabling customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices to complete repairs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and iPhone SE (3rd generation)" according to Apple — and by all accounts, it does what it says on the tin. Whether it needs to be quite so robust is a matter for discussion, but this video gives us a great look inside one Apple product many will never lay eyes on in the flesh.

Don't fancy using any of this to fix your own iPhone 13 or other device? You can still take it into an Apple Store — and remember, the best iPhone is one that's been properly serviced. If in doubt, let someone else do the work!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.