Apple today opened up its repair program to independent repair businesses to carry out repairs on out of warranty iPhone repairs. This means the company will be supplying independent repair shops with the same genuine parts, tools, and repair manuals as it does to Apple Authorized Service Providers.
This is the first time that Apple has opened up its repair program to independent repair shops. Up until now, Apple has only supplied genuine components and tools to service providers authorized by it. The program is initially launching in the United States but Apple does have plans to expand it to other countries.
“To better meet our customers’ needs, we’re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right. We believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested.”
From the perspective of small repair shops, the good news is that there are no joining fees. Instead, to qualify, businesses must have Apple-certified technicians who can perform the repairs. The certification process itself is simple and completely free.
What this means is that the next time you need to get your out-of-warranty iPhone repaired, you can get it done at an independent repair shop that is certified by Apple and be rest assured that the components replaced are completely genuine.
Apple has long been against unauthorized repair shops, and it has been one of the strongest opponents of the Right to Repair bill in the United States. Thus, the company opening up its program and supplying them with genuine components, tools, and manuals is definitely a big deal. The company does mention in its press release that the program will only support the most common repairs on out-of-warranty iPhones which should still be good enough for most owners of older iPhones.