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A study published Thursday examines the impact of Apple’s new self-service repair on the average life cycle of the iPhone.
Apple has the Self-service repair Program, an initiative that gives customers access to parts and tools to make common iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Repairs such as changing the display, battery and camera. The company plans to expand support on M1. to expand Macs at a later time.
It was a surprising U-turn for the tech giant who has been citing the right to repair movement for years, citing Consumer safety and security risks.
Consumer Intelligence Research Partners looked at the impact of reversing Apple’s repair policy, focusing on how having access to parts could affect sales of new iPhones. Specifically, the study considers aggregated screen and battery states as predictors for the demand for self-service repair, which in turn provides an indication of potential interruptions in the upgrade cycle.
From a survey of 2,000 US American Apple customers who bought an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch during the 12-month period ending in September, the research company concludes that only a “small fraction” the user will use Self Service Repair to postpone the postponement of a new iPhone purchase.
“Based on what consumers say about the condition of old iPhones they are retiring, it appears relatively few owners would use the self-service repair program to postpone their next iPhone purchase,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP partner and co-founder. “Of course, Apple’s continued efforts to improve display durability and battery quality have paid off, even as consumers continue to complain, particularly about battery life. Based on what consumers say about the condition of their old iPhones, most new iPhone buyers have more than enough “usable phones.”
Around 6% of respondents said their iPhone screen was cracked and unusable, a condition that would require replacement or repair, while 12% said their display was cracked but usable. Battery life was a more pressing issue: 14% of owners surveyed said their battery was depleted enough that it needed to be charged every few hours.
Aside from the relatively durable hardware, CIRP points out that iPhone owners have a number of reasons to upgrade from current hardware. Each subsequent iPhone iteration brings processor and camera improvements, while current updates such as iPhone 13 have increased the internal storage capacity to a maximum of 1 TB with iPhone 13 Pro.