We knew Apple’s self-service repair program was going to be a pain after it launched last month. But new details have surfaced that show just how boring and laborious the self-service repair program is.
The edge Sean Hollister recently took the self-service repair kit for a test drive to replace the battery in his iPhone mini. Beyond the bulky 79-pound set of tools that Apple sends out 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 quite a hefty fee to use them.
Self-service repair is more expensive than Apple Store repairs
You can rent the repair tools for $49, but Apple requires a $1,200 credit card hold for you to use them. Worse still, 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, fixing your phone should be easy, right? Bad. In Hollister’s experience, the tools were quite difficult to use, with a user manual that wasn’t the best at explaining the 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 for an Apple Store to completely replace the battery for you.
Overall, Apple’s self-service repair program doesn’t seem worth it. And that’s probably how Apple prefers it. The company has been hesitant for some time to allow third-party repairs.
Perhaps the bulky tools and expensive risk factor of self-service repair is Apple’s latest way of saying “we don’t want people fixing their own devices.” I know I’d be skeptical of taking the risk just to see what’s inside my iPhone.
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