The news: Shipments of parts and tools from Apple’s new self-service repair program are showing up at doorsteps…but reception is mixed.
- The parts you order, like displays or batteries, are top-notch and indistinguishable from original Apple parts…but they’re pricey and make justifying the self-repair more challenging
- I wound up paying about $7 more to repair my iPhone 12 Pro display myself instead of taking it to the Genius Bar and paying Apple to fix it (and it took me ~5 hours of labor)
- The tools are a completely different story: while they are built well, they are absolutely overkill for many repairs, only obfuscating and confusing a process that could be made much simpler (ex. iFixit)
- That’s not to mention the essential tools that Apple doesn’t send you, including cut-resistant gloves, heat-resistant gloves, and an ESD-safe mat, bracelet and tweezers
Sam’s take: This was—and I’m being serious—one of the most daunting and painful projects I have ever worked on. Not only were the instructions unchanged from those made for trained Genius Bar employees, not only did key tools like gloves and tweezers not ship in the repair kit, not only did the heavy-duty tools not function as they should…there were numerous errors and other challenges that I encountered along the way. There is literally no way I could have done this without Luke Miani at my side, and even he was flabbergasted at countless points throughout the repair. I agree with the thesis of his video: Apple’s self-service repair program was designed to fail (for most people).