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Apple to allow used parts for some iPhone repairs

Apple Self Service Repair program


On Thursday, Apple announced it’s expanding its repair program this fall to incorporate used parts. Initially only for select iPhone models, the repair option will be available to more devices later on, though Apple did not clarify which models. The used components must be genuine Apple parts, in accordance with Apple’s efforts to minimize privacy and security concerns. 

“For the last two years, teams across Apple have been innovating on product design and manufacturing to support repairs with used Apple parts that won’t compromise users’ safety, security, or privacy,” said John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, in the announcement. “With this latest expansion to our repair program, we’re excited to be adding even more choice and convenience for our customers, while helping to extend the life of our products and their parts.”

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Repairers will be able to use pre-owned parts in phone fixes after “pairing,” or vetting, whether they are genuine Apple tech. Fixed phones will then be calibrated to original factory standards to ensure security and preserve device integrity, according to Apple.

The release, somewhat unclear, seems to include biometric sensors as used parts that can be recalibrated once installed in a device, but also says future iPhone models will support reused biometric sensors. Serial numbers won’t be required when ordering parts for certain repairs from the Self Service Repair store. 

The new initiative expands Apple’s repair program to encourage safe and affordable device repairs, as well as product longevity and a reduced environmental footprint

“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,” Ternus added. 

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To maintain transparency about repair history and deter disassembly of stolen phones, Apple will extend Activation Lock to iPhone parts to alert those repairing the device if the parts have been reported lost or stolen. If they are, repairers will restrict calibration. Similarly, the company will update the Parts and Service History in iOS to indicate whether a part is new or used in the iPhone’s Settings. 

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