Europeans get access to Apple parts and manuals in the self-service repair program

Enlarge / This photo shows some of the tools and parts offered through Apple’s self-service repair program.

As of Tuesday, Apple’s self-service repair program is now available in eight European countries. It launched in the United States in April, with the company promising to expand to other countries by the end of the year.

The countries included in this rollout are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The program allows individual customers to purchase the same repair manuals, parts, and tools that Apple uses to perform repairs. Two hundred parts and tools are available through Apple’s Self Service Repair Store. In addition to purchasing the parts, customers can borrow repair kits for EUR 54.90 with no shipping costs.

Apple claims that each part is “designed and engineered for each product and undergoes extensive testing to ensure the highest quality, safety and reliability” and that they are offered to users at the same price as Apple’s authorized repair providers.

However, the parts are not available for every product. To benefit from this, you must try to repair an iPhone 12 or 13 series phone or a MacBook with an M1 or M2 based chip. iPhone 14 models and Intel Macs are not yet supported.

The Europe launch seems almost more significant than the US launch for this program (which represents a step forward but has still faced criticism). That’s because US lawmakers have flirted with right-to-repair laws at times, while the EU debates and addresses this issue much more aggressively.

In the past, Apple only supported repairs performed either at an Apple Retail Store or at a repair facility that was part of the company’s network of tightly controlled Authorized Repair Providers. The company argued that this was partly to protect customers from bad repairs or other problems caused by unauthorized repair technicians. It should also protect the company from having to foot the bill if one of these unauthorized repairs would make it more difficult or expensive to respond to a future support request for a device.

However, by doing so, the company has also ensured that it has reduced the cost of most repairs to its devices.

The self-service repair program puts repairs in the hands of savvy customers, but it also keeps Apple’s cut. Some commentators see this as a win-win situation; for others it is still not enough.

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