Apple suddenly wants to give all the power in hands of the end-consumer. The Cupertino-based tech giant announced a self-repair service, limited only to the United States in the launch, wherein it will allow iPhone 12 and 13 users to repair damaged screens, batteries, and cameras at the comfort of their home. Apple announced to bring the service for M1 Mac computers eventually. The service will kick start earlier next year.

While the self-repair service sounds great on paper, is it even practical in reality? Industry analysts believe that consumers may not be too confident to repair such an expensive piece of tech on their own.

Experts believe that the most valuable modules (including battery, display, and camera) could be tricky for a layman to handle even with manuals and tools. The lack of confidence and the need to carefully handle a premium smartphone might force the consumer to eventually opt for an Apple authorized centre.

IDC India’s Research Director of Client Devices & IPDS, Navkendar Singh says that “not many would risk opening such expensive products on their own for the fear of getting warranty voided.”

Consumers have mixed reactions on the initiative. Ankit Chawla, a long-time iPhone user, and a loyal Apple customer, doubts whether customers will be confident to repair such an expensive device on their own. “I am not sure if the convenience that Apple is aiming to offer even outweighs the risks involved with attempting to self-repair an expensive and sophisticated Apple product at home. I would rather get it done at an Apple authorised service centre or take it to a third-party service centre that I trust,” he says.

On the other hand, Kushagra Gandhi, another Delhi-based Apple loyalist, has a different take on it. He believes it to be a great move. Gandhi says, with this new repairability program, tech savvy customers like him will be very happy to repair their own iPhone for basic screen damage and battery replacement. “When a company creates a product with repairability in mind it’s very easy for a consumer, with an average knowledge of tech, to repair their products on their own,” he says.

Prabhu Ram, Head of Industry Intelligence Group at CMR Research believes that the “self-repair program is primarily directed at tech-savvy consumers who would benefit from such capabilities to repair their iPhones themselves, and not the mainstream consumers.”

Apple’s self-repair service explained

With the launch of the new service, Apple’s intentions seem quite simple. The company wants to avoid any external issues by keeping the repair responsibility only with its authorized partners or shifting that onus completely to the end consumer. “While the intentions are simple, the technicality could be far complex and remains to be seen,” Glen Cardoza, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint highlights.

Up until now, only Apple and its authorized repairers had complete control of the repair aspects for iPhones. Independent repairers have been voicing their concern for a while now, with the new service Apple has decided to skip them and go directly to the consumer. The service most definitely is not very encouraging for independent repairers.

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Analyst Prabhu Ram believes Apple’s self-repair program is an interesting move forward and is a paradigm shift by the company in offering greater access for outsiders into its walled software garden.

He highlights, by offering greater access to Apple’s genuine parts, the company could potentially open-up new revenue streams in the after-sales service market.

Stating an example he says, “Apple could launch a potential Apple Repair certification program aimed at educating tech savvy users, and in the process, create a community of Apple-trusted repair experts.”

All in all, with the service going live early next year, the iPhone 12 and 13 series owners in the US and other markets will have a choice to either buy the parts, tools and manuals or give the device directly to an authorized service centre.

Either way, Apple stands to gain, whether from the sale of equipment or service charges.

The post Is Apple’s self-repair program practical or just another marketing gimmick? appeared first on BGR India.

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