Apple Expands Its Self Repair Services to Laptops

Apple is selling people more tools that will let them fix their MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros.
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State of Repair is Motherboard's exploration of DIY culture, device repair, ownership, and the forces fighting to lock down access to the things you own.

Apple will now let customers repair MacBooks by selling parts to the general public. Starting this week, people who own MacBook Airs and MacBook Pro notebooks will be able to purchase genuine parts from Apple and do basic repairs of their equipment.

The news comes just under a year after Apple announced it would sell people the equipment they needed to fix their own phones. It’s another step towards making Apple products easier to repair at home and represents a massive change of policy for the manufacturer.

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Self-service repairs are limited to “more than a dozen different types for each model,” according to Apple’s press release about the program. It will include “the display, top case with battery, and trackpad, with more to come.” The tools, parts, and instructions Apple is offering to customers will be the same as those available at Apple Stores and Apple’s independent repair partners. 

Apple long fought against letting people repair their own devices. The company once maintained a repair monopoly and took steps to curtail independent repair options. It disabled Face ID on iPhone 13s repaired with aftermarket screens, fought lawmakers in multiple states over the issue, and told Congress that letting people fix their own phones was dangerous.

The company has relented in the past year after building consumer and legislative backlash. Biden’s White House has formally backed the right-to-repair movement and the FTC is launching investigations into companies that limit a consumer’s choice when it comes to repair.

Apple has come a long way, but there’s still work to do. The repairs it provides tools and manuals for is limited, but the recent expansion of its program into laptops is a sign that the company is on the right track. Customers do, of course, still need to purchase proprietary tools to work on their Apple devices. It’s not cheap, but it’s often cheaper than buying a full replacement for your device.

If you can’t afford the tools you need, Apple will rent them to you for $49.