Apple’s Automatic Repair Program Is Reportedly ‘Far From Ideal’ For iPhone Users

Dhruv Butani / Android Authority

TL;RD

  • Apple’s iPhone Self Repair Kit weighs 36kg and comes in two suitcases.
  • a writer with the edge reported that the repair process was tedious with plenty of room for something to go seriously wrong.
  • Another reporter from The New York Times managed to break his iPhone trying to use Apple’s tools and instructions.

Update: May 25, 2022 (9:22 pm ET): We’ve added more details about Apple’s toolkit contracting process. We have also referred to another report from The New York Times on how Apple’s DIY instructions and tools may not be ideal for most users.


Original article: May 25, 2022 (12:41 AM ET): Apple recently launched its DIY repair program, which allows iPhone users to repair their own devices by renting a repair kit from the company. If you thought this kit would consist of some screwdrivers, pliers, spudgers, and magnifying glasses, you would be sorely mistaken.

When Sean Hollister from the edge You recently set out to repair your iPhone Mini, Apple sent you a toolkit in two suitcases weighing 36kg (see below) to repair the little device. To be clear, Apple lists the contents and weight of the toolkit on the website you rent it from. The company blocks $1,200 on your credit card for the heavy toolkit. He also charges $49 to rent the tools for a week and $69 for a new battery (that’s what the edge writer was replacing). The thing is, Apple charges the same $69 fee for battery replacement at its own stores, except there, an expert does all the repair work.

So if you’re renting Apple’s $49 toolkit and not using your own, which is also an option, be sure to read the fine print and see what tools you’re getting.

Apple Repair Shoot The Verge

That said, if you’re a DIY repair nerd, Apple has your back. The tool kit she sent Hollister had everything he could possibly need to put together an iPhone, including an industrial-grade heat station and a huge spring-loaded vise.

The chances of something going wrong are quite high.

The problem is that the process itself was full of challenges for the writer. If he is inexperienced in phone repair then he might get stuck half way through and the chances of something going wrong are quite high.

The iPhone did not recognize the genuine battery that Apple provided as genuine.

Apple shipped a repair manual along with its huge toolkit. However, Hollister still had some trouble getting it right. The manual was not helpful when the heating machine returned an error code. Pulling out the iPhone’s tiny screws was also a chore for Hollister, even with Apple’s “fancy torque drivers.”

The “most frustrating part” of the repair process according to the report was that the iPhone didn’t recognize the genuine Apple-supplied battery. It showed an “unknown part” warning and apparently you need to call Apple’s third party logistics company after the repair to validate the part. That’s an entirely different process that requires you to run diagnostics on the iPhone and give the company remote control of your device.

Brian X. Chen from The New York Times I’ve also tried Apple’s repair kit. This is what he had to say:

Apple’s DIY tools and instructions are far from ideal for most of us. I know because I broke my phone trying to use them.

In fact, Chen enlisted the help of an independent phone repair technician who said that Apple is preparing customers to fail.

In general, the Apple repair process sounds quite tedious. Perhaps it is more of an obstacle to the self-repair movement than a step in the right direction.

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