CIRP’s research suggests that almost all iPhones in use have a display in “useable” condition and most iPhones have a battery in “useable” condition. 12 percent of iPhone displays are cracked but useable, and just six percent are unusable and in need of replacement. 26 percent of iPhone batteries are said to provide battery life lasting half a day without charging, and 14 percent need to be charged every couple of hours. Battery replacements are therefore likely to be among the most common repairs, but comparatively few active devices are in need of replacing either of these parts that are subject to a high level of wear and tear.
Starting with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lines, Apple launched the Self Service Repair programme earlier this week, providing consumers who are comfortable with the concept of conducting their own repairs access to Apple authentic parts, tools, and instructions. While Right to Repair campaigners have praised the programme, it appears that few iPhone customers will take use of it in practise.
The small number of active devices in need of replacement parts, combined with the fact that many users will not be comfortable completing their own repairs, indicates that very few iPhone users will actually take advantage of the Self Service Repair program. CIRP Partner and Co-Founder Mike Levin said:
Since most new iPhone buyers already have “more than adequately usable phones,” “few owners would use the Self Service Repair program to postpone their next iPhone purchase,” according to CIRP’s Josh Lowitz.
It seems battery life affects consumers more than screen condition. 14 percent of iPhone buyers reported needing to charge a battery in their old iPhone every few hours. Only six percent of iPhone buyers said they had a cracked screen that made the old phone unusable, while another 12 percent had a cracked screen that was still useable. Of course, buyers have many reasons for upgrading from an old iPhone, including processor performance or storage capacity. So, at best a small fraction of buyers are likely to postpone a new iPhone purchase by repairing an old phone through the Self Service Repair program.
The Self Service Repair program will be available to users starting early next year in the United States and expand to additional countries throughout 2022.
CIRP’s findings are based on a survey of 2,000 Apple customers in the U.S. that purchased an Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, or Mac between October 2020 and September 2021.