Apple is to allow consumers to repair their own devices in a move that could reduce the cost of repairing iPhones and Macs and extend the life cycle of consumer electronics.
The iPhone maker on Wednesday launched a self-repair program that allows customers to buy Apple-made parts to replace worn or damaged ones.
The service, which will debut in the US early next year for the iPhone 12 and 13 series, will allow users to repair their screens, batteries, and cameras from home. The service will expand to other markets in 2022 and cover Macs using M1 chips.
The company did not say how the spare parts would be priced.
The u-turn was sudden. Just last month, Apple was fighting a shareholder proposal in favor of the right to repair. The iPhone maker says its experts are best placed to service its products.
In July, the Biden administration issued an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to address "unfair anti-competitive restrictions on third-party repairs or product self-repairs".
"This is an important step for Apple. It shows that it is possible to make spare parts for consumers, something they have refused to do for years, "said Ugo Vallauri, co-founder and policy director of the Restart Project, a right-to-repair advocacy group.
Apple's shift is the second major victory for "right to repair" advocates in two months after Microsoft struck a landmark deal in October to make its devices easier to fix.
Consumer protection agencies have long criticized Apple for aggressively defending its monopoly over the repair process. The repair process became so rigorous that even two phones of the same model with parts changed did not work properly.
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