Apple expands Self-Repair Program with support for genuine used parts

An image of an iPhone being repaired using the Apple Self Service Repair kit
(Image credit: Apple)

After introducing self-repair for iPhones in 2022 and expanding it to computers last year, Apple is finally allowing users to repair their iPhones with used parts. The tech giant announced that coming this fall, owners of “select” iPhone models will be able to repair those phones with used genuine parts. 

The  update does not indicate when this fall or which specific models will be eligible for used parts. Though if going by past precedent, it will probably start with the current iPhone 15 models and expand from there

“At Apple, we’re always looking for new ways to deliver the best possible experience for our customers while reducing the impact we have on the planet, and a key part of that means designing products that last,” said John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering. 

Currently, DIY users and independent repair shops have to use their device's serial number to pair with the appropriate new part that they could purchase from Apple in kits or alone. Once repaired, the phone would calibrate with the new parts. However, used parts or aftermarket items would cause the iPhone to send constant notifications saying it couldn’t verify the component. Some parts, like Face ID and Touch ID sensors, wouldn’t work at all.

Apple says that with this update, users and repair shops won’t need to provide the serial number of their device when ordering parts from the Self Repair Store. 

In addition to the used parts announcement, Apple also announced the genuine used and new Face and Touch ID sensors would be available this fall. It stated that “calibration for genuine Apple parts, new or used, will happen on device after the part is installed.”

Finally, Apple will also be extending its Activation Lock feature to iPhone parts. Activation Lock was designed to stop lost or stolen iPhones from being reactivated. “If a device under repair detects that a supported part was obtained from another device with Activation Lock or Lost Mode enabled, calibration capabilities for that part will be restricted, "Apple explains in its press release.

It has taken Apple a long time to get on board with the right-to-repair idea that existed for other tech products. So, it’s nice to see that the company has been gradually expanding the capability since it opened up its devices to user repair. 

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.