Apple to allow users repair iPhones with used parts

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Apple users and repair shops will soon have the option to utilize genuine used Apple parts for device repairs, eliminating the need to order brand-new components.

The company asserts that these used parts will now possess the same full functionality and security as original factory-calibrated parts.

This initiative is set to roll out starting this fall, beginning with iPhone 15 and newer models. If you have a damaged iPhone screen but possess another intact screen of the same model, you’ll be able to swap them out, with the panel from the other iPhone functioning properly.

Previously, using a used screen from another iPhone might have resulted in certain features, like True Tone or automatic brightness adjustment, not working correctly. The enhanced self-repair program aims to address this issue.

The program will also encompass parts such as batteries, cameras, and eventually Face ID sensors. Furthermore, consumers and repair shops won’t need to provide Apple with a device serial number when ordering most parts from the Self Service Repair Store, though this requirement will still apply for logic board replacements.

Users will be able to check if their iPhone has undergone repairs and which parts have been replaced. Starting this fall, accessing the Parts and Service History section of iPhone settings will indicate whether a replacement part is new or a genuine used part from another iPhone.

To ensure the privacy, security, and safety of iPhones, Apple will implement a “parts pairing” process directly on the phone to detect genuine replacement components. This measure aims to discourage the use of parts from stolen iPhones for repairs. If a device detects that a replacement part originates from a device with Activation Lock or Lost Mode enabled, Apple will restrict calibration for that part to prevent improper functionality.

While this shift may simplify iPhone repairs for users and repair shops, it also raises concerns about Apple exerting more control over the repair process and potentially sidelining third-party aftermarket parts. Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, John Ternus, noted that while Apple supports the use of third-party parts in repairs, it cannot properly calibrate such components as it would for its own parts.

However, Apple may need to engage with aftermarket parts manufacturers to address this issue. A recent right-to-repair bill signed into law by Oregon Governor Tina Kotek aims to prevent device manufacturers from using parts pairing to restrict the use of third-party components for repairs, applying to devices manufactured after January 1, 2025.

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