Apple will finally let people in the UK and seven other European countries fix their own iPhones with genuine tools.
Until now, users have been forced to take their devices to Apple retail stores or have them fixed by independent providers. But the company will now let individuals buy genuine Apple parts and tools, and carry out their own repairs.
But most users will still be encouraged to have their devices fixed by trained professionals. Users will have to verify that they have read and understood a training manual before they can be sent the tools, which can be difficult to use.
The tech giant’s Self Service Repair scheme, which first launched in the US earlier this year, offers repair manuals, tools, and replacement parts for the iPhone 12 and 13 range, as well as more recent Mac laptops which contain Apple’s own chips.
Users will be able to access more than 200 individual parts through a special online store, with the option to buy or rent some tools.
Apple says the parts are the same ones – and at the same price – as those already available to Apple’s network of authorised repair providers, and customers can also send replaced parts back to the firm for refurbishment and recycling, with credit off their parts purchase provided in many cases.
“We believe the best technology for our customers and for the planet is technology that lasts, which is why we design our products to be durable and rarely require maintenance or repair,” Apple chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, said.
“But when a repair is needed, we want customers to have many options for safe, reliable and secure repair.
“That’s why we’re excited to launch Self Service Repair in Europe, giving our customers direct access to genuine Apple parts, tools and manuals.”
As well as the UK, the scheme is being expanded to Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Spain.
Apple has faced criticism in the past over how difficult its devices are to fix, facing particular ire from the “right to repair” movement. In recent years, however, it has looked to improve the “repairability” of its devices, both by changing and through offerings such as the self-service repair programme.
Additional reporting by PA