Apple will soon make it easier for customers to repair their own electronics.
This year, Apple will roll out a new self-service repair program.
"Apple customers are, for basically the first time, going to be able to buy spare parts for their iPhones directly from Apple," said Nathan Proctor with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG). "That'll start with just the iPhone 12 and 13 and just a couple different parts, such as the screens and the batteries. But Apple has promised to roll this out to more and more products going forward."
The new program is a reversal of a long-standing policy for Apple.
Experts say taking a broken device to a technician may still be the best option. But the change could mean big savings for those who have the skills to fix electronics.
"There are still a lot of people who have the skills necessary to switch a screen or a battery," Proctor said. "If you think about it, people used to fix a lot of this stuff in their homes and, honestly, fixing an iPhone is really not that much more difficult than changing the oil in a car or fixing your dishwasher."
Last summer, the Federal Trade Commission voted to ramp up enforcement against repair restrictions.
In addition, more states are also pushing for so-called "right to repair" legislation. Twenty-seven states considered such bills in 2021. More than 12 have introduced bills so far this year, according to the USPIRG.
Apple's change came following a shareholder resolution asking the company to provide reports on its "right to repair plans." Google's parent company, Alphabet, is facing a similar shareholder resolution but hasn't made any public announcements yet. Microsoft is another company that recently started changing how its products are repaired.