Is Apple’s Self-Service Repair Program for iPhone battery replacement worth its $1000 cost?
By Azrul Abas June 3, 2022
Apple does not want you to repair their devices as it is a very complicated process. However, if you do decide to self-repair your iPhone battery or screen replacement, be prepared to use various screwdrivers, remembering each screw to its bracket, and possibly having the chance to lose some parts along the way.
Come the iPhone 12 launched in 2020, the repair situation blew up (not literally, thankfully!) when the “Electronic right to repair” strikes Apple. This pressured the company to respond, especially after President Joe Biden signed an executive order last year to draft new regulations limiting device manufacturers’ ability to restrict independent repairs of their products. 4 months later, Apple then responded by announcing that they will now launch a self-service repair program that allows customers to repair their own iPhones.
How does it work?
So how do you actually order parts for this self service repair? The program itself is only available in the US for now, and will be starting in other regions as well.
- Go to the Apple’s self service repair page
- You need to choose what device and what repair you want to do (so far it’s only available for iPhone SE 3rd gen, iPhone 12 lineup, and iPhone 13 lineup)
- You need to choose the product and you can rent the tool needed for the repair
- They will ask you for necessary information, and you will proceed to shipping and payment.
After you go through those steps then you will receive your order. However, there is one BIG catch you might want to consider before proceeding with the order.
First Hand Experience
Sean Hollister from The Verge has written a review on his experience on this, performing a battery replacement on his iPhone 13 Mini. He bought the battery and also rented the iPhone 13 mini tool kit. But what he didn’t know is that he also had to rent 2 massive pelican boxes that weighed over 30kg!
The tools that Apple gave for rent was to make sure that the repair is easy and has a higher chance of success. There are tools for heating the adhesive, suctioning the screen, and clamping the screen back. Apple also gave a complete thorough guide and a complete set of screwdrivers.
After he is done with the battery replacement and charges the new battery, the device now tells him that the battery is an unknown part. So obviously, he had to use another device to get in touch with Apple’s self repair technician, restart the device and put it into diagnostic mode so the technician could then get remote access to install the battery to the system - which kind of defeats the whole purpose of replacing your own battery.
And we’re still not at the best part yet - this self service repair might just cost more than getting a new phone itself!
But the important issue is the cost here:
- So they charge the battery for $69 which is the same that Apple Store charges for a replacement.
- The rent of the tool is another $49 so that is a total of $118.
- Final part, you have to pay a renting authorization deposit for $1,200! It will be refunded once you return the tool in perfect condition.
So now the big question is, if you are prepared to pay $1,318 (excluding tax) for a battery replacement, you might as well buy a new iPhone 13 Pro Max. So is this $1,000 battery replacement actually worth it?
What do we think?
To be honest we don’t think it’s worth the time, cost and effort. If a person chooses to do a self-service repair, they’re expecting a much cheaper cost. If Apple charges the same price for self-repair as to what they charge for the replacement on the Apple store, then it only makes sense to the latter instead. Furthermore, it also creates so much effort, preparing a credit card for the deposit, carrying the heavy toolkits and returning it within 7 days or else your deposit will be gone.
As a customer I would expect self-repair to be a cheaper and more flexible option, as I would not have to book an appointment for the repair and be able to fix it anytime I want. Just give me battery parts and tools when I purchase and I won’t have to worry about returning any other items within a limited time period.
In this case, Mend.sg offers the option where you can do a self-repair for a cheaper price than going to the Apple service or local repair shop. You can just purchase the battery and Mend will also provide a complete guide, tool kit that you’ll need, as well as a warranty within that purchase to make sure everything goes right. Compared to Apple’s expensive and complicated self service program, with Mend we are able to help you along the way if you happen to be stuck in the middle of a repair.
With the launch of this repair program, Apple probably wanted to see how customers would react to it and to test its feasibility. While it would most likely discourage consumers even more, they might continue it to other countries and regions in the following month, hence its best to read up about it beforehand.