Apple appears to be loosening its grip on iPhone, Mac repairs

A purported leak of an Apple internal presentation suggests the company is sharing diagnostic apps with approved repairers.

Ian Sherr Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr

Historically, the tech giant has kept tight control over repairs to its products.

Angela Lang/CNET

Activists pushing for changes to Apple's repair policies may notch another win soon. 

An internal Apple presentation from last year, leaked to Motherboard, details how the iPhone maker plans to allow outside technicians access to diagnostic apps and more parts for its devices. The result, according to the report, would be that Apple device owners wouldn't have to send their gadget to the company's repair centers for complex work.

The move is the latest sign Apple is changing its rules in response to a growing movement of people pushing for legislation that would let users repair their devices on their own or through professionals. Advocates such as the device repair company iFixIt argue that tech companies like Apple should let users fix their phones and computers on their own or through independent repair shops.

More than a dozen states, including Apple's home of California, have considered passing laws supporting this idea. Even Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate from Massachusetts, said she supports broader repair rights.

"Apart from a few very select Apple Authorized Repair Providers, no one has access to the genuine, OEM parts Apple uses to make these devices, or the diagnostics and schematics that Apple keeps so close to the chest," iFixIt wrote on its website Thursday. "Apple's new plan, as described in these documents, seems like a step in the right direction."

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.