Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Apple is finally backtracking in its war on Mac repairability

Modern Macs’ lack of repairability has become downright notorious. But Apple has slowly begun to change in its tune, most recently announcing a self-service repair program that will finally allow customers to repair their own Macs (and iPhones, too).

In what marks the first time the tech giant has offered such a service, Apple confirmed it will begin selling parts and tools to consumers who wish to perform repairs themselves on certain iPhone models, as well as Macs powered by the company’s M1 chips.

A teardown of the MacBook Pro.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The self-service repair scheme will become available early next year in the U.S., with a further expansion that covers other countries scheduled throughout 2022. It’ll first be rolled out for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, while the initiative will cover M1-powered Mac computers “soon” after.

Those interested in performing their own repairs will initially receive access to a repair manual, after which they’ll be able to purchase parts via Apple’s self-service repair online store. Once you’ve fixed your Mac, Apple will offer customers who return the used parts for recycling purposes credit toward their purchase.

It’s certainly welcoming news, particularly for Mac users. For years, Apple has opted to glue batteries into the MacBook. However, the 2021 MacBook Pro model, which features the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, put an end to that practice. As seen on the iPhone, a pull tab can now be utilized; the feature finally offers users a straightforward method in replacing the battery.

An additional improvement saw the latest MacBook Pro’s ports, which includes the MagSafe component, becoming “modular and easy to replace.” However, one aspect that Apple’s new service won’t have an impact on is the black keyboard deck due to it remaining as a part of the unibody, essentially leaving no option for a simple replacement procedure. In 2018, a class-action lawsuit pertaining to MacBook Pro keyboard issues was filed against Apple.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Considering the engineering changes, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that Apple always envisioned a self-service program when developing the product. The decision could most likely be attributed to the intense pressure Apple has faced for years from the self-repair movement.

In any case, the company stressed that the repair option should only be used by those who possess the necessary skill and experience to repair electronic devices. Apple added that for those who don’t have the required knowledge in mending a Mac without the assistance of professionals, visiting a repair provider with certified technicians who only use genuine parts is “the safest and most reliable way” in getting a device fixed.

Apple has been continually criticized for establishing a highly lucrative monopoly on the repair process for its products. Prior to today’s announcement, options consumers could choose between were technicians who relied on parts from suppliers not certified by Apple, or paying — in many cases — hundreds of dollars at official Apple stores. Even independent repair outlets that sought approval are subjected to surprise inspections and the risk of substantial fines.

In some instances, the cost to repair a device via an Apple store would reach a price point so high that it would make more sense to just buy a new Mac or iPhone.

Apart from the obvious benefits that will come to fruition for consumers, the upcoming repairability service will also impact the environment. Now that certain devices can be sustained for longer as opposed to throwing them away, e-waste levels will naturally be reduced.

Editors' Recommendations

Zak Islam
Computing Writer
Zak Islam was a freelance writer at Digital Trends covering the latest news in the technology world, particularly the…
The easy way to decide between the MacBook Air 15 and MacBook Pro 14

Picking out a new MacBook isn't as easy as it used to be. While Apple finally dropped the 13-inch MacBook Pro that didn't match the line's modern design, it introduced a new 14-inch MacBook Pro with an entry-level M3 processor. If you prefer a larger screen or more performance, you might be left considering two compelling options: the 15-inch MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Having reviewed and used both laptops extensively, I'm here to lay it all out for you. Here's the difference between the two machines and how to easily determine which is right for you.
The easy way to know which to buy

Read more
These are the best games to play on your new M3 Mac
Lies of P being played on an iMac.

It’s an exciting time to be a Mac gamer. The latest MacBooks are genuine gaming machines thanks to the addition of ray tracing, mesh shading, and some impressive GPU performance. Even more, Apple is courting more developers to port their games to Apple’s computers with features like Game Mode and the Game Porting Toolkit.

In short, Mac gaming has never been in a better place. If you’ve bought a new Mac loaded with a chip from the M3 family, you might want to test out its power with a few demanding games to see what it can do. There’s no need to stick to mild indie games that won’t cause your Mac to break a sweat -- we’re talking AAA titles that will run natively on Apple hardware. And, of course, you can always use an app like CrossOver to run any Windows games you can imagine. But here are the best games that run natively on an M3 Mac to try out, ranging from incredibly deep fantasy RPGs to exhilarating battle royales.
Baldur's Gate 3

Read more
A major era in MacBook history is finally over
A MacBook Pro 13-inch on a table.

We're living in a golden age for MacBooks.

The MacBook Airs are faster, thinner, and more accessible laptops than ever, while the Pro models have the best display, speakers, keyboard, trackpad, and battery life of any competitive laptop. They're on their A game.

Read more