Shares of Apple (AAPL 1.95%) climbed higher on Wednesday by as much as 2.6%. As of 12:58 p.m. ET today, the stock was up 2.3%.
The catalyst that sent the iPhone maker higher was an announcement that Apple is abandoning a longtime policy regarding repair parts.
In a press release that dropped on Wednesday, Apple announced its Self Service Repair program, and said it will begin offering genuine Apple parts, tools, and manuals to consumers, letting them make repairs to their own iPhones. "The initial phase of the program will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone display, battery, and camera," Apple said in the statement.
The program will roll out early next year in the U.S. and will initially be limited to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups. It will offer access to more than 200 individual parts and tools, which will help consumers make the most-common repairs to their devices. The program will eventually extend to Mac computers and expand to additional countries throughout 2022.
Customers will be able to place an order at the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store and will get the same prices Apple charges its certified repair shops. Additionally, customers who return used parts for recycling after the repair is completed will receive a credit toward their purchase.
With this move, Apple is abandoning the company's long-standing policy of maintaining tight control over its repairs by selling the replacement parts and specialized tools to certified repair shops. The company said there were currently 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers. The company insisted that for the "vast majority of customers," a professional would still prove to be the "safest and most reliable" option.
While this might seem like an altruistic move by Apple, the tech giant was likely inspired by a raft of proposed regulations born of the "right to repair" movement. More than half the states in the U.S. have introduced legislation that would force Apple to provide increased access to repair parts, though many of the measures have failed.
Still, getting ahead of the curve will likely serve Apple well in the court of public opinion.