What just happened? Apple launched their "Self Service Repair" program earlier this year, allowing consumers to replace and repair their Apple devices on their own, all with genuine Apple parts and tools. Today, Apple announced the expansion of the program to include the MacBook M1 line, set to begin on August 23.
In late 2021, Apple made an unexpected announcement. They were going to begin a program that would allow users to personally repair their devices, with genuine parts and tools provided by Apple. Apple stated that the service, titled the "Self Service Repair," would launch with parts and tools to repair their iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with Mac computers powered by M1 chips to follow shortly after. Consumers waited for an update on any potential launch dates until May 2022, when the service officially launched.
Once reviewers were able to test out the service, there were some immediate concerns. Some noted that while the products and tools did work, it was apparent that Apple had attempted to make the process rather unappealing to more inexperienced consumers. The process of changing any internal parts on either iPhone model was especially complex and time-consuming, which would likely push those users to instead take their device to an Apple Genius Bar rather than attempting the repairs themselves.
That brings us to today as Apple has announced that beginning August 23, the Self Service Repair program would expand to support MacBooks that are equipped with an Apple M1 processor. While a full list of repairable parts is not available yet, Apple does mention the display, trackpad, and top case with battery are three of the "more than a dozen" repairable parts within the program for MacBooks.
Apple will still allow users to purchase the tools necessary for the MacBook repairs, however the prices for those tools have not been revealed. They also note that the tools can be rented, just like the iPhone repair tools, for the same $49 price. Users who choose the rental option get one week to repair their devices, and then must send the tools back to Apple, or they may face a hefty fee as the tools are certainly not cheap by any means.
While some consumers and reviewers believe this move by Apple was merely a reaction to appeal and appease the ever-growing "right to repair" movement, others might feel Apple truly does want to be on the side of "right to repair."
Regardless of which side you are on, this is a good step forward for those who are willing to personally repair their products. It will be interesting to see if other large companies follow in Apple's footsteps in providing first-party parts and tools, or if there's true adoption of self-repairs when these may be too challenging for most mainstream consumers.