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Apple announces Self Service Repair program

Published november 19, 2021 by ASK-Solutions in news

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Apple Self Service Repair program

Wednesday November 17th, Apple announced the Apple Self Service Repair program. Although we welcome any repair initiative by a manufacturer, we remain skeptical.

At ASK-Solutions, we have little repair jobs involving Apple products. Most of our customers come to us with repairs on desktop PCs and more specialized equipment. Some of our customers use Apple products, but do not come to us or other third parties when something breaks. Most of our customers see Apple products as unrepairable and expendable. The latter not because Apple products are cheap. But when making the decision to purchase a new Apple device, they are already in the mindset that it will need to be replaced within a relative short period, because it will be worn out and obsolete.

Sourcing parts and tools isn't an Apple specific problem, but a problem spanning almost all industries. We face similar problems. With Apple's announced program, we suspect similar problems as we have seen with other initiatives to provide tools and parts by manufacturers. We see these problems both with long time existing parts programs and also with newer programs. We see prices of parts raised to levels where it is not economic to do a repair. We see parts that are (always) out of stock or take weeks to months to be delivered. We see the required tools necessary to install the part become extremely expensive, or only made available after signing a contract. These contracts involve non disclosures and often minimal purchase volumes of parts. You can only meet these demands when committing your business exclusively on repairs for their brand. In other words: you're required to become their dealership.

Apple's program immediately raises a few red flags. Even the name Self Service Repair raises questions. We suspect that this program involves:

  • No access to parts, but only assemblies.
  • Requirement to prove you are the original owner of the device before being able to purchase anything.
  • Extremely long delivery times.
  • Parts at very high cost, making you think twice about taking the risk.
  • Exclusion of repair shops, electronics professionals and people interested in learning these skills.
  • Availability of only very generic things instead of real parts and tools like chips, schematics and pairing, programming and diagnostic tools.

We would like to be proven wrong by Apple.

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