You’ll soon be able to take your broken iPhone to an independent repair shop and get it fixed with genuine Apple parts. Apple has announced that it will begin selling genuine iPhone parts to independent repair shops, making it much easier and cheaper for customers to fix their broken devices.
The iPhone maker said that every independent repair shop, large or small, will have access to official Apple parts, tools, repair manuals and diagnostics and other resources.
This will allow them to perform the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs – such as iPhone display and battery replacements – safely and reliably.
“When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
“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.”
Apple said the independent repair provider programme will launch in the US before being rolled out to other countries.
It will focus solely on out-of-warranty repairs for iPhones, while Apple’s own Authorised Service Provider network offers both in-warranty and out-of-warranty repairs for all Apple products.
The move should help ease heavy demand on Apple and its authorised partners to fix millions of cracked screens and fried charging ports.
However, it is a major U-turn for Apple, which has previously lobbied against “right-to-repair” bills to supply independent businesses in several US states, including New York and California, citing concerns about maintaining a high service standard.
Earlier this month, the company activated dormant software within its iOS operating system which meant that only Apple batteries installed by Apple would work properly in iPhone handsets.
The move was heavily criticised, with electronics repair company iFixit accusing Apple of “preventing you from having any autonomy with a device you supposedly own”.
Apple said it has trialled the new repair program for a year with 20 businesses across North America, Europe and Asia, but did not give a timetable for an international rollout of the scheme.
The program will allow independent stores to set their own prices for repairs and also offer cheaper aftermarket parts.
They will be required to return any collected broken Apple parts to the company for refurbishment or recycling.
The program will be free for shops to join, but they will be required to have an Apple-certified technician who has taken a free 40-hour training course and test provided by the company.