Phones with third-party batteries are now eligible to be repaired at Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP), according to internal Apple documents reportedly obtained by MacRumors and French outlet iGen. Before, Apple policies stated that customers were ineligible to receive any kind of repair service if their iPhones were previously repaired with any non-original, third-party components, meaning you’d be taking a big risk by replacing an iPhone battery yourself.
According to the reports, technicians will now be able to carry out services as normal for repairs unrelated to the battery, like microphones, logic boards, or the display, even if they spot a third-party battery when they open up your phone.
For repairs relating to the battery, Genius Bar and AASP technicians will reportedly be permitted to replace third-party batteries with official Apple batteries at standard fees. MacRumors also says that technicians will be allowed to replace the entire iPhone for the cost of a battery replacement if the battery tabs are broken, missing, or have excessive adhesive at the discretion of a Genius Bar or AASP technician. That seems particularly generous, especially if you botch your own battery install, but it’s not entirely unusual. I’ve been lucky enough to have my entire phone replaced by Apple because of a small issue before.
Batteries are the latest third-party components to be accepted by Apple’s rigid repair policy, as the company changed its policy to accept iPhones with third-party displays for repair in 2017. The changes in policy are coming at a time when customers are realizing that a battery replacement can extend the life of their phone. After it was revealed that Apple was throttling older phones to compensate for degrading batteries and cut its $79 battery replacement cost to $29 for a year, customers replaced more batteries than ever to the point that it hurt iPhone sales.
Despite Apple and other major tech companies’ resistance to the Right to Repair Act, which would require them to make it possible for customers to repair devices on their own without penalties, users are continuing to fix their own devices anyhow. Companies like iFixit offer DIY battery replacement kits for as low as $29, and Apple’s new policy of opening up repairs to phones with third-party batteries is a consumer-friendly move.