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In context: The Right-To-Repair (R2R) movement has gradually gained traction within companies that have traditionally held on to their in-house repair regimes with white-knuckled control. Apple is a prime example. Where once it would not allow any repairs outside its authorized partners, it now lets regular customers attempt repairs if they want. It's still no easy task and is meant for people who know what they are doing, but that's what R2R was looking for anyway.
Apple is expanding its self-repair program to Europe. The service, launched in the US earlier this year, will now be available to eight additional countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Like the US version of the repair program, there are no restrictions on who can order the parts, tools, and repair manuals. Regular Joes are more than welcome to try to fix a broken screen if they feel up to the task. However, the program is more geared toward the technically inclined, current and former professionals, and unauthorized Apple repair shops.
Although the Self Service Repair Store carries more than 200 parts and tools, the DIY service is still quite limited. Customers can access components and repair kits for all iPhone 12 and 13 models and notebooks equipped with Apple silicon. So if you crack your iPhone 14 screen or need a new battery for your 2020 MacBook Pro, you'll still need to take it to an authorized Apple repair shop.
"We believe the best technology for our customers and for the planet is technology that lasts, which is why we design our products to be durable and rarely require maintenance or repair," said Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams. "But when a repair is needed, we want customers to have many options for safe, reliable, and secure repair. That's why we're excited to launch Self Service Repair in Europe, giving our customers direct access to genuine Apple parts, tools, and manuals."
Customers should remember that in addition to the cost of parts, which are not cheap, they will also have to pay a $49 one-week rental fee for the tools to complete the job. In some instances, this could mean more or about the same out-of-pocket costs as having the repair done by Apple. So the program is more advantageous for those who own the proper tools, again indicating Apple's demographic for this program.
Even Apple admits, "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."
To that end, Cupertino claims it has almost doubled the number of service locations with access to genuine Apple components since launching the program in the US. According to the company's count, there are 4,000 independent repair providers, 5,000 officially authorized repair shops, and more than 100,000 active technicians. Eighty percent of Apple customers are now within a 30-minute drive to a European service provider.