Customers may now purchase replacement iPhone parts directly from Apple, allowing them to fix their devices without having to pay a professional. However, if you were hoping to save money by doing your own repairs, you may be disappointed. Even when you’re the one gingerly pulling your phone apart to change out a broken part, Apple’s pricing for some of the most frequent replacement parts is quite similar to what it’ll charge you to conduct the repairs at an Apple Store. Only when you take into account the credit you’ll get for turning in a replaced part will you see a considerable savings.
Take, for example, battery replacement. The Battery & Screw Kit for iPhone 12 or 13 models costs $69, whereas the same kit for the third-generation iPhone SE costs $49. However, an out-of-warranty battery replacement on Apple’s website costs the same: $69 for the iPhone 12 or 13 and $49 for the iPhone SE. According to Apple’s news release, these parts will be sold at the “same price” as those charged to its network of repair partners.
The cost of display replacements varies a little more, but not significantly. When purchased directly from Apple, an iPhone 12 display and screw kit costs $267.96, but an out-of-warranty screen repair costs $279 for the identical phone. The new part for the 12 Mini costs $225.96 compared to $229 for an Apple repair, while the same part for the 12 Pro Max costs $309.96 compared to $329 for an Apple repair. It could be a savings of $5 to $20, but it’s not much.
There is one crucial caveat here: if you’re prepared to ship back the part you’ve replaced, Apple’s DIY alternative offers more substantial savings. According to Apple’s repair site, an old iPhone 12 or 13 battery will get you a $24.15 discount, while a returned display would get you a $33.60 discount. These reductions are especially beneficial for battery repairs, as sending in a replaced part can save you more than a third of the cost of the repair kit. According to Apple’s press announcement, the parts handed in by users will be recycled, while iFixit cautions that they may be refurbished for reuse.
Even without these reductions, depending on where you live, there may be compelling reasons to go the DIY route. Despite the fact that Apple has hundreds of Apple Stores in the United States and thousands of third-party repair partners around the world, many people don’t live near a place that can repair their iPhone and can’t be without it for the three to five business days it takes for a mail-in repair to be completed. A DIY repair option could be a lifesaver for some people.
Apple made it clear in its news release that its DIY repair solutions are not for everyone. According to the company’s press release, “visiting a professional repair provider with certified technicians who use genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair for the vast majority of customers who do not have experience repairing electronic devices is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair for the vast majority of customers who do not have experience repairing electronic devices.” Self-service repairs are only for “customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices.” That could explain why Apple isn’t giving eager customers who want to fix their own phones much of a discount.