As announced last year, Apple has launched its official Self Service Repair Store with an array of parts and tools to fix broken iPhone SE (third-gen), iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 models. The store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools, from security screws for $0.10 apiece to Pro Max displays for more than $300.
The Self Service Repair program doesn’t appear to offer significant savings for the most common iPhone repair—a cracked screen. For example, Apple charges $269.95 for an iPhone 13 Display Bundle, which includes the display, screw kit, adhesive, and two security screws, with a credit of $33.60 for returning the broken display after fixing it, for a final cost of $236.35. The same repair would cost $279 if you brought it to an Apple Store, a savings of $42.65.
However, the repairs are not for the faint of heart and the extra money will likely be better spent letting Apple take care of it. For screen repairs, Apple recommends buying a Heated Display Pocket for $108, Display Press for $216, and a heated display removal fixture for $256.35. Most repair shops would already have these items, of course, but if you’re fixing a single iPhone it’s probably not worth it.
For a battery replacement, Apple charges a flat fee of $69, but a bundle will cost you about $47 after the replaced part return credit. Apple also offers kits to repair the bottom speaker, camera, Taptic Engine, and SIM tray. Those repairs are more difficult to compare, but the parts prices seem reasonable, with an iPhone 13 Pro Max camera bundle costing less than $90 after the return credit. However, you’ll still need to purchase or rent extra equipment.
All of the parts and tools are available à la carte as well as in bundles, and users can also rent tool kits, which include the pricey equipment needed to disassemble the iPhone, for $49 a week. Apple guarantees that the tools offered on the Self Service Repair site are the same used by Apple’s “repair network.”
Apple offers an array of manuals that repairers are instructed to peruse before they even purchase parts. They’re very detailed and offer step-by-step instructions, making it clear that the repair won’t be easy. For example, to fix a cracked screen, you’ll need to remove and re-apply adhesive and battery swaps require numerous safety precautions, including having “clean, dry, untreated sand” on hand in case of a “battery thermal event.” Even just perusing the instructions makes it very clear that these repairs are quite difficult and require extreme patience and an understanding of how these products work and are assembled.
Still, it’s a great step that Apple is offering such a comprehensive program, and users with older phones lying around might be able to get them back into working order, assuming Apple expands the iPhones that are covered by the program.
Even more exciting, Apple says it will offer manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Macs with Apple silicon later this year. Those repairs should be a little easier than the iPhone ones due to the nature of the design.