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Apple to allow user repair of iPhones from 2022, but Japan launch unclear

This illustration provided by Apple shows a user repairing an iPhone.

WASHINGTON (Mainichi) -- Apple Inc. will start a service that allows some users to repair their iPhones by themselves, the U.S. tech giant announced on Nov. 17.

    It has not yet been revealed whether there are plans to offer it in Japan, but the new service will allow users to directly purchase genuine parts that frequently need repair. It will start in the U.S. in early 2022, and the number of countries covered will be expanded in the same year.

    The service allows users to order more than 200 kinds of parts such as displays, batteries and cameras, along with tools and repair manuals through a specialized website. Using them, users can repair the faulty parts themselves. The service will be available for the iPhone 12 and 13 series, with the latest Mac computer models to be added later.

    Until now, Apple has limited the repair of iPhones to authorized service stores and specially trained repairers. While the tech company explained that the new service will expand the options for users who need repairs, it is targeted at electronic device experts, and that it is safest and most reliable for general customers to use professional repairers.

    In the U.S. and the European Union, it has been pointed out that major manufacturers are limiting the number of repairers, resulting in "high repair costs," and antitrust authorities have been working to strengthen regulations to guarantee the "right to repair," which allows consumers to fix products without going through the manufacturer's designated vendor.

    (Japanese original by Masahiro Nakai, North America General Bureau)

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