Apple will let you repair your iPhone with used parts

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Key Takeaways

  • Apple will let customers and third-party stores repair devices with used parts.
  • The option will be available with some iPhone models starting this fall.
  • Apple will also make it harder to steal an iPhone for parts.

Apple will soon allow both customers and independent stores to repair the iPhone and other products with used parts.

The expanded support will be available starting with the iPhone 15 line and newer models this fall. Apple has promised the same functionality and security as brand new parts.

The option comes thanks to a change in the pairing process that authenticates parts, Apple said. That calibration will now occur on the device after installation. Subsequent iPhone models will also work with used biometric sensors (those for Face ID or Touch ID).

The company also vowed to deter thieves from stealing iPhones for parts. Activation Lock will soon apply to parts, not just whole devices. Calibration will be “restricted” if an iPhone in repair detects that a part came from another handset with Activation Lock or Lost Mode turned on.

Apple further promised to streamline the repair process. You won’t need to give a serial number when ordering Self Service Repair parts beyond the logic board (mainboard). Meanwhile, iOS’ Parts and Service history will show both new and used components as of the fall.

The tech giant characterized the move as part of a broader commitment to “safe and affordable” fixes. On top of launching its Self Service Repair program in 2022, Apple has expanded support for third-party repair providers. Newer products, such as the iPhone 15 family and recent MacBook Air, also have more repair-friendly designs.

Apple is facing government pressure to improve repairability, however. Multiple countries and American states have enacted right to repair laws that require at least some concessions to at-home fixes. The company came out in favor of US-wide regulations last fall, but only after opposing previous efforts.

The support for used parts also doesn’t fully address criticism over Apple’s insistence on component pairing. The firm claimed that pairing is “critical” to privacy and security, but do-it-yourself repair advocates have argued that this also cuts out third parties whose parts might be cheaper or more readily available.

Apple might have to scrap pairing altogether. Oregon recently passed a law banning parts pairing for all devices built in 2025 onward. While that’s only one state, it may force Apple to allow unofficial parts if it wants to sell iPhones to the entire country.