By Catherine Thorbecke, CNN Business
Apple has officially opened its self service repair store, which provides manuals and parts for users seeking do-it-yourself fixes for their iPhones.
The online shop offers more than 200 individual parts and tools, such as iPhone screws, cameras, batteries, displays, SIM card trays and more, allowing customers and third-party fixit companies access to genuine Apple components for the first time. Previously, Apple users had to rely on the company’s in-house repair service or authorized repair outposts to fix devices.
The components for sale are specific to iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone SE (3rd generation) smartphones.
For now, the store is only available for customers in the United States but the company said it will expand to additional countries later this year. It also has plans to add manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on some Mac computers, by the end of the year.
The launch of the store on Wednesday comes after advocates for the “right to repair” movement long pressured lawmakers and tech companies to give consumers the option to fix gadgets themselves. In July, President Joe Biden passed an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to issue rules requiring companies to allow DIY repairs. The FTC then unanimously voted to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions.
FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement at the time that the restrictions “can significantly raise costs for consumers, stifle innovation, close off business opportunity for independent repair shops, create unnecessary electronic waste, delay timely repairs, and undermine resiliency.”
Apple said the prices for the parts — which range from $0.20 screws to a $312 iPhone 12 Pro Max display kit — are the same as those available to Apple’s existing network of authorized repair retailers. It added that customers who return parts for recycling will receive a credit.
Last month, Samsung announced a similar program that will allow users of some of its flagship Galaxy devices to repair their own products starting this summer.
Companies such as Apple and Samsung have been criticized for using tactics that make it harder for independent repair businesses to access devices, such as using non-removable memory or batteries, or sealing devices with special glue. The companies argue that this is done to ensure the products are properly repaired through authorized repair services.
Although Apple is giving customers access to its components, it is still urging people without repair experience to seek out professional assistance for fixes.
“For the vast majority of customers who do not have experience repairing electronic devices, visiting a professional repair provider with certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair,” the company said in a press release.
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