Apple’s DIY repair parts are only slightly cheaper than their repair prices.

Apple now sells iPhone parts directly to customers, allowing them to repair their own devices instead of paying a professional. But if you were hoping a DIY repair would be a way to save money, you might be a little disappointed. Apple’s price for some of the most common replacement parts is very similar to what it will charge you for repairs at an Apple Store, even when you’re the one delicately disassembling your phone to replace a broken part. Only once you factor in the credit you get for shipping a replaced part in, will you see a more significant savings.

Take battery replacements. Apple is charging $69 for a battery and screw kit for the iPhone 12 or 13 models and $49 for the same kit for the third-generation iPhone SE. But look apple site, and an out-of-warranty battery replacement costs exactly the same: $69 for the iPhone 12 or 13 and $49 for the iPhone SE. Apple’s press release says that it is selling these parts in the “same price” as what its repair partner network charges.

Apple’s own repair prices.

The price of screen replacements differs a bit more, but not by much. An iPhone 12 screen and screw kit costs $267.96 when purchased directly from Apple, while a screen repair out of warranty it costs $279 for the same phone. For the 12 Mini, the price is $225.96 vs. $229 for an Apple repair, while the same replacement part for the 12 Pro Max is $309.96 vs. $329 for an Apple repair. That’s a $5 to $20 savings, but it’s not much.

There’s an important caveat here, which is that Apple’s DIY option offers more substantial savings if you’re willing to return the part you replaced. An old iPhone 12 or 13 battery, for example, could net you a $24.15 discount according to Apple’s repair site, while the discount offered for a returned screen is $33.60. These discounts offer a particularly good deal for battery repairs, where shipping a replaced part could save you more than a third of the price of the repair kit. Apple’s press release says it intends to recycle customer-shipped parts, though I fix it he notes that they could also restore them for reuse.

Even without these discounts, there could still be strong reasons to go the DIY route, depending on where you are. Although Apple has hundreds of Apple Stores in the US and thousands of third-party repair partners around the world, there are still many people who don’t live near anywhere that can repair their iPhone and can’t be without their phone forever. It takes three to five business days to deliver a repair by mail. For those folks, a DIY repair option could offer a lifesaver.

Apple’s press release makes it clear that it doesn’t expect its DIY repair options to be for everyone. “For the vast majority of customers who are inexperienced in repairing electronic devices, visiting a professional repair provider with certified technicians using genuine Apple parts is the safest and most reliable way to get a repair,” their statement says. release and warns that auto-service repairs are only intended for “customers who are experienced with the intricacies of electronic device repair.” That could explain why Apple isn’t offering a big discount to eager customers looking to fix their own phones.

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