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Europeans gain access to Apple parts, manuals in Self Service Repair program

Some of the tools and parts offered in Apple's Self Service Repair program appear in this photo.
Enlarge / Some of the tools and parts offered in Apple’s Self Service Repair program appear in this photo.

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 promises from the company 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 individual parts and tools are available through Apple’s Self Service Repair Store. In addition to buying the parts, customers can rent repair kits for 54.90 euros with free shipping.

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

All that said, the parts are not available for every product. To take advantage, you must be seeking to repair a phone from the iPhone 12 or 13 lineups or a MacBook with an M1- or M2-based chip. iPhone 14 models and Intel Macs are not yet supported.

The European launch seems almost more momentous for this program (which is a step forward but has still seen its share of criticism) than the US one did. That’s because while US legislators have flirted with right-to-repair laws now and then, the EU has been much more aggressive in debating and tackling this issue.

Historically, Apple only supported repairs that were done either at an Apple Store or a repair shop 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 techs. It was also to protect the company from having to foot the bill if one of those unauthorized repairs made it more difficult or expensive to respond to a future support request for a device.

That said, it also allowed the company to make sure it could take a cut of the spending on most repairs done to its devices.

The Self Service Repair program puts repairs in the hands of savvy customers, but it also maintains Apple’s cut. Some commentators see that as a win-win; to others, it’s still not enough.

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