Apple claimed an upcoming move to allow second-hand components to be used to fix iPhones is a step forward in improving access to safe and affordable repairs.

The company indicated repairs with second-hand parts will be available for selected models and could be performed by competent users and independent third parties. Sales of the components are expected to start later this year.  

Initially elements available will include biometric sensors for face and touch ID, though the company indicated a current “pairing” policy on confirming whether parts are genuine and the history of hardware in devices will be retained.

It noted pairing was “preserving the privacy, security, and safety of iPhone”. Apple added enabling reuse of parts while maintaining security had taken two years of development by its teams.

A full repair history will be stored on each device with indications on whether any repairs used new or second-hand parts.

In another move said to simplify the repair process Apple announced those fixing devices will no longer need to supply serial numbers when ordering parts unless the logic board was being replaced.

The device maker launched self-repair for iPhones in the US in 2022 before expanding to various other countries around the world. As of its update yesterday (11 April), the scheme supports 40 Apple products across 33 countries and other territories.     

Apple introduced it at a time when authorities in several of its major markets were openly criticising device manufacturer policies on repairs, while considering ways to tackle the mountains of electronic waste generated every year.

In what have generally been claimed as policies to help users enjoy their devices for longer, other manufacturers including Samsung and Google have launched similar repair schemes.