Apple Expands Self Service Repair Options In Europe, But Australia Is Still MIA

Apple Expands Self Service Repair Options In Europe, But Australia Is Still MIA

Overnight, Apple announced an expansion of its self service repair system it launched last year, adding a number of devices and 24 more countries where it will be available.

You already read the headline, so you know which country isn’t part of those additional 24 countries. All up, the self service repair system now covers 35 Apple products across 33 countries.

Apple hasn’t made much in the way of official statements around availability of self-repair in Australia outside broad claims around expanding coverage generally, but I’ve put a query through to Apple Australia to see if there’s any further detail on when Australians might be able to source parts directly from Apple in an approved way.

In terms of models, self-repair now covers iPhone 15 models and M2 Macs, including the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 15-inch MacBook Air, Mac mini, Mac Pro and Mac Studio.

Apple has also made a web-based diagnostic tool for supported devices available to consumers.

Apple Self Service Repair Web Interface (Screenshot, Alex Kidman/Gizmodo Australia)
This is what Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair looks like if your computer (ahem) “thinks” it’s in the US. I suspect it might spit the dummy at the serial number part, though. (Screenshot, Alex Kidman, Gizmodo Australia)

Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair is a web-based utility currently only available in the US – though it appears to at least launch if you’re using a VPN – that gives consumers the ability to check for individual part faults by throwing their device into diagnostic mode, entering the serial number on a secondary device and then following Apple’s web-based instructions.

Apple says it’ll open up the service to European customers in 2024. The Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair provides tools to test functions such as speakers, FaceID cameras, multi-touch capability and camera quality according to Apple’s own support notes.

It does open up the rather odd proposition that, were you to travel to Europe or the USA, Apple might theoretically offer you the parts and tools to manage a repair, but not down under.

Why hasn’t Apple offered self-service repair in Australia yet?

Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair message if viewed in Australia: Reads: "This feature is currently not available in your region" (Screenshot, Alex Kidman, Gizmodo Australia)
It might be some time before Apple brings Self Service Repair to Australian shores — if ever. (Screenshot, Alex Kidman/Gizmodo Australia)

Pending any official comment from Apple Australia, it’s not entirely clear why the service hasn’t been made available here from a logistical viewpoint. The vast size of the country means that it’s not always practical for Australian consumers to get to an Apple Store or authorised repairer for in-warranty repairs, so it would seem to be a bit of a no-brainer.

While there’s no official comment from Apple Australia as yet – and I’ll update if that does change — it doesn’t take too much reading of the tea leaves to surmise what the issues might be here, however.

It’s the Australian Consumer Law, and most likely the specific parts that relate to warranties and the claims made by sales staff around products and features, as I discussed recently around the upcoming JB Hi-Fi lawsuit around extended warranties.

Apple in the US does make it rather explicit that if you use its self-service repair system for an otherwise in-warranty device and something goes wrong, it will not cover that level of damage, but it’s unlikely that Australian Consumer Law wouldn’t see that kind of service – selling parts and providing manuals and tools for repair – as at least partially being covered by consumer guarantees as well.

Apple has some form in clashing with the ACCC over Australian consumer law in the past, including being fined $9 million after refusing to offer service to customers hit with the “error 53” problem if they had used a third-party repairer to fix issues with their devices.

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