Apple Self-Repair Program Toolkit – Hands On With What’s Inside
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Apple’s 79-pound iPhone self-repair program toolkit is on our test bed. Here’s what’s inside the big repair packet.
Apple’s self-service repair portal has just launched, and right now it’s focused only on iPhone repairs. In the future, device options could potentially expand.
Currently, you can perform several common repairs such as broken screens and dead batteries for the iPhone 12 series, iPhone 13 series, and iPhone SE.
In our case, we ordered a battery replacement for our iPhone 13 Pro. Along with the battery itself, we had to borrow Apple’s toolkit for $49 to do the repair ourselves.
Of course, this also came with a $1,272 hold on our credit card.
The toolkit took two days to arrive and includes two large Pelican branded cases. Together, they weighed nearly 80 pounds.
After transporting them into the studio, we broke the security seals outside to explore their contents.
Case number one
Upon opening the first case – the smaller of the two – we were greeted by our return label. Apple put two new zipper-style security tags in the case for its return trip.
This case houses the heatsink used to loosen the adhesive that holds the screen in place. Joining the heat shield removal device is the required power cable and a hot ladle tray.
The hot pocket tray clamps your phone with metal sides, then slides the smartphone into the screen removal device. It will intelligently heat your iPhone for a specific amount of time at a designated temperature to allow the adhesive to weaken.
A suction cup holds the screen and when you turn the knob on top it slowly applies pressure and releases the display panel. Once separated, you can use the included tool to puncture the adhesive remnants.
Case number two
The second case has many more components inside, being the larger of the two. It has its own return label and security tags inside, alongside all of our tools.
This box also came with a guide, showing where each tool goes and what they were. It’s certainly easier to know what’s going where and to make sure you don’t forget anything when you’re packing it up.
There are two small boxes filled with screwdrivers, screen covers, suction cups, and a plastic spudger. Then there are two big pieces of equipment – a display press and a battery press – and a tray that holds them.
Users will use the screen press many times during many repairs. Their phone will fit into the device-specific tray and slide under the press.
The first time it is used will be to apply the adhesive. The glue is deposited on the phone during reassembly, then a metal plate is placed on it. The tray is then inserted into the press and then a lever is pulled.
As soon as the lever is used, a countdown begins at 30 before emitting a piercing beep at zero. You have to pull the button on the left side to release the lever.
After the adhesive is applied, users must install the display assembly. As soon as it is properly connected and placed, the iPhone revisits the display press to secure it in place.
Without this tool, the adhesive may not be as strong in its bond, and this could cause the display assembly to detach or compromise its water resistance.
The battery press is a very specialized device used when replacing the battery. A new battery is installed first, with fresh adhesive underneath.
The phone is then inserted into the battery press and the top lever is lowered, dropping a rubber roller onto the new battery. Users then slide the phone back and forth several times to secure the battery in place.
This tool applies constant, even pressure to the battery while ensuring the battery is not damaged.
Apple makes these tools available for purchase on their own, but with price tags costing hundreds of dollars, the $50 rental fee is much more sustainable. With these tools, many users will be able to undertake repairs themselves rather than paying out of pocket at the Genius Bar.