But that would likely result in a lawsuit, much as it did with Lexmark.
The simple fact would seem to be that customers want to get repairs and battery replacements from firms other than Apple. That might be due to cost, speed or convenience of repair, or some other intangible factor. Since Apple likely has a closer relationship with the owner of an Apple device than any independent repair shop would, this would seem to be a failure on Apple’s part.
Apple could easily put all third-party repair shops out of business by offering free, same-day repairs of any Apple device, regardless of age. Heck, even providing a 3-year warranty with guaranteed free repairs would probably do it. Of course, providing such free repairs would cost the company hugely, both in repair costs and in slower sales of new devices, as evidenced by the damage done to iPhone sales when Apple offered free iPhone battery replacements throughout 2018 as an apology for slowing down iPhones without alerting customers.
So without any evidence of significant harm to Apple caused by independent repair shops—or in allowing individuals to repair their own devices—I just can’t buy the claim that Apple is doing anything other than competing with non-Apple repair options with this behavior.