While Apple’s Self Service Repair program is far from practical, the tools that are rented out through this program are pretty interesting. They’re huge and expensive, but they accomplish simple tasks that really don’t require special equipment. So, iFixit spent a few thousand dollars to buy and tear down Apple’s Self Service Repair tools.
Previously, iFixit rented a bunch of Self Service Repair tools to find all the pros and cons of Apple’s new program. One of the team’s conclusions (and the consensus among Review Geek writers) is that the tools are overkill and will intimidate customers (perhaps intentionally). These tools may also explain why Self Service Repair offers only middling cost savings—it’s about the same price as a trip to the Apple Store.
But these tools are worth investigating and documenting. They’re the same tools that Apple employees use behind the Genius Bar, and notably, they don’t come with service manuals or other important paperwork. Oh, and of course, this stuff is just fun to look at.
In its detailed teardown video, iFixit takes apart three Apple repair tools—the display press, the battery press, and the heated display removal fixture. These tools aren’t necessary for an iPhone repair, but they’re quite precise.
The display press, for example, can restore IPX water resistance to an iPhone after a screen replacement. And the battery press … well, iFixit calls it a “polished lawsuit prevention system,” which makes sense, as Apple can’t exactly tell customers or employees to press on batteries with their hands.
Arguably the most thing about these tools is the way they’re engineered. They contain off-the-shelf components, including displays and processors, and there’s all kinds of mechanical goodness hiding in each tool. Look out for ball bearings, precise spring tensions, and clever safety systems in iFixit’s teardown video.
You can view the iFixit teardown video above or at YouTube. Just keep in mind that these tools aren’t necessary for an iPhone screen repair. The gang at iFixit sells much cheaper parts for screen replacements and publishes repair guides for every iPhone.