an iPhone screen is repaired in 2016Image source, Getty Images

By Zoe Kleinman

Technology editor

Apple is rolling out its self-repair service to the UK and seven other European countries on Tuesday.

iPhone 12 and 13 users, and some Macbook owners, will be able to fix their own devices by buying parts and tools and watching online tutorials.

But the tech giant warned that if the repair goes wrong, any existing warranty will no longer be valid.

Apple launched the service in the US in November 2021 following pressure from campaigners.

Members of the “right to repair” movement had been frustrated by the tight control Apple exercised over the process, which they said hurt independent shops and made fixing faults more expensive for users.

The US service has, however, faced criticism for being too difficult for the average consumer to manage. Technology journalist Brian Chen described his own attempt at repairing an iPhone 12 as a disaster in the New York Times.

“I destroyed my iPhone screen in a split second with an irreversible error,” he wrote in his article.

Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams said that customers should have “many options for safe, reliable, and secure repair”. But the firm maintains that only those who are “comfortable” with carrying out their own repairs should attempt it.

There are, for example, 16 tools and a combination of 61 steps required to remove and then replace the screen on an iPhone 13, which has an 81-page repair manual.

Repair options include replacing batteries, screens and phone casings.

Apple has responded to criticism of its repair costs in the past, saying in 2019 that it had lost money on device repair services.

There has been increasing pressure on tech firms to expand the lifespan of hardware, both for financial and environmental reasons.

Since 2021, manufacturers of appliances like washing machines and televisions have been required to offer spare parts in the UK.

The UK’s “right to repair” law is in line with rules in place across the European Union aimed at reducing energy and expanding product lifespans.

You can follow Zoe Kleinman on Twitter @zsk.