Independent repair shops will be able for the first time ever to source genuine Apple parts
Apple has confirmed it will begin to supply for the first time ever, genuine parts to independent repair shops.
Apple announced the decision when it said it would begin selling genuine parts, tools and even repair manuals and diagnostic capabilities to independent shops to fix broken iPhones.
The surprise move comes after constant lobbying from regulators. In June 2018 Apple was rebuked by an Australian court after it imposed a fine against the company for “bricking” iPhones.
The Australian Federal Court had fined Apple AUS$9m (£5.05m) because of a software update that disabled iPhones that had cracked screens repaired by third parties.
That lawsuit decision was a victory for Australia’s consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), who had sued the firm for breaching the country’s consumer law by telling some 275 customers they were not eligible for a remedy if their device had been repaired by a third party.
Apple said that it is launching its new independent repair provider program in the US (other countries to follow), and as part of that “Apple will provide more independent repair businesses – large or small – with the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics as its Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs).
“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,” said Williams. “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.”
The good news is that there is no costs to join Apple’s independent repair program.
But to qualify, businesses need to have an Apple-certified technician who can perform the repairs. The process for certification is simple and free of charge.
The Apple decision comes after the firm expanded its authorised service network into every Best Buy store in the US, tripling the number of US AASP locations compared to three years ago.
The move comes amid a background of two quarters of declining iPhone sales, but sales of services and the Apple Watch have improved.
Teardown specialists have consistently criticised Apple over the years for making its products difficult to repair.
In 2011 for example Apple was accused of increasingly using hard-to-find, tamper-resistant and “evil” screws in some iPhone 4 handsets, by teardown specialist iFixit,
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