Apple supplies 36 kilos of tools for self-service repair
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Apple supplies 36 kilos of tools for self-service repair

Coya Vallejo Hägi
Translation: machine translated

Apple has recently started offering self-service repair for selected devices in the US. An American editor's test now shows that the process is complicated, expensive and risky.

Last November, Apple announced a self-repair program. The idea: customers should be able to repair devices themselves with the help of original parts and tools from Apple. A demand that had become increasingly louder due to the growing right-to-repair movement.

The service has been available in the USA since April 2022. It will later be rolled out in other countries. Already during the announcement, Apple emphasized that the program is aimed at "tech-savvy individuals." People who use the service should "have the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices."

Now it's clear why.

Sean Hollister, an editor at the American tech magazine "The Verge," has tested Apple's repair program - and what he documents in his article could cause some repair fans to frown. Those who want to repair their Apple devices themselves are faced with a highly complex undertaking.

Two suitcases full of tools

Hollister wanted to replace the battery of his iPhone 13 Mini. However, Apple only explains in the corresponding repair manual how defective parts can be specifically replaced with the help of their tools. That's why Hollister rented the official toolbox for a week at a cost of 49 US dollars. The editor had to pay a deposit of around 1200 US dollars. The replacement battery also costs 69 US dollars in the USA.

What Apple sent the editor, however, was less a box than two medium-sized suitcases. The total load of 36 kilograms contained various industrial instruments - including a heating station, a press for the battery and one for the screen, as well as various screwdrivers and cutting instruments.

Even with instructions and industrial tools, the repair was challenging and frustrating, Hollister writes. That's because Apple's official replacement parts - in his case, the battery - are not directly recognized by his own device. New replacement parts must first be verified. To do that, those seeking repairs must first call in a logistics company and give it access to the device so they can verify the new replacement part.

Difficult process

In his experience, Hollister is convinced: "Apple doesn't want us to repair our devices ourselves - otherwise the process wouldn't be so complicated, expensive and risky. On the other hand, you could say that getting the right tools for a DIY repair is exactly what helps. Whether we can relate to Hollister's experience remains to be seen. As soon as the DIY kit will be available in Switzerland, we will test it ourselves. If you want to see Hollister's pictures of the tool kit and read his full report, you can do so here.

Titelbild: Shutterstock, Kevin Khoo

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«I want it all! The terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles!» – these words spoken by an iconic American TV celebrity could have been mine. It's a take on life I also apply to my job. What does this mean in concrete terms? That every story has its charm; no matter how small, large, exciting or trivial. The more eclectic the mix, the better. 

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