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We knew Apple’s Self Service Repair program was going to be a pain in the ass after it launched last month. But new details have emerged that show just how annoying and labor-intensive the Self Service Repair program actually is.
The Verge’s Sean Hollister recently took the Self Service Repair kit for a test drive to replace the battery on his iPhone mini. Beyond the bulky, 79-pound toolset that Apple sends for repairs, the repair process itself is daunting and expensive.
Why you need 79 pounds of tools to replace the battery in one of the smallest smartphones on the market remains a mystery. Nevertheless, these are the repair tools that Apple offers. And you’ll have to pay a pretty handsome fee to use them.
Self Service Repair is more expensive than repairs at the Apple Store
You can rent the repair tools for $49, but Apple requires a $1,200 credit card hold for you to use them. Even worse, you’ll lose that money if you don’t return the tools within seven days of receiving them.
With such an expensive and technical set of tools, repairing your phone should be made easy, right? Wrong. In Hollister’s experience, the tools were pretty difficult to use, with a user manual that wasn’t the best at explaining processes.
And even after completing Apple’s painstaking repair process, the job wasn’t quite done. After replacing the battery, Hollister then had to contact a third-party service to “validate” the new part.
Oh, and the battery costs $69. That’s the same price it would cost to get an Apple Store to completely replace the battery for you.
All in all, Apple’s Self Service Repair program seems like it’s not really worth the time. And that’s probably how Apple prefers it. The company has been hesitant about allowing third-party repairs for a while now.
Maybe the bulky tools and expensive risk factor of Self Service Repair is Apple’s latest way of saying “we don’t want users repairing their own devices.” I know I would be skeptical about taking on the risk just to see what’s inside my iPhone.