In something of an about-face for Apple, the company will now make it much easier for third-party repair shops to provide the same level of service as Apple and authorized service providers when it comes to iPhone repairs. The new program will encompass support for the most common iPhone issues seen in out-of-warranty devices.
Specifically, Apple for the first time will now offer third-parties the exact same training, tools, and parts as those used by Apple technicians. This is a huge and welcome move, especially in light of the fact that installing a third-party battery on an iPhone can sometimes lead to dire consequences.
Similarly, there are no shortage of stories involving iPhone owners who opt for a third-party display replacement, only to find that the display isn’t flush with the device or that touches aren’t always registered. Apple’s new program will hopefully make those frustrating scenarios a relic of the past.
“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,” Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a press release.
“When a repair is needed,” Williams added, “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.”
Of course, independent shops who want access to actual Apple tools, parts, diagnostics, and training materials will need to have a “certified” technician on board. This, though, doesn’t seem like much of an impediment since applying for and receiving certification is free. Indeed, becoming a certified technician simply involves passing an online exam. Further, Apple itself provides prep materials for prospective test takers.
Interestingly, Apple notes that it’s been running a small pilot program with about 20 independent repair shops across the world over the past year.
All in all, Apple’s repair program is becoming far more ambitious and user-friendly than ever before. This past June, for example, Apple partnered up with Best Buy to significantly expand its repair network. Specifically, every Best Buy location across the U.S. will have a trained technician capable of making same-day iPhone repairs.
At the time, Apple remarked that “eight out of ten Apple customers will be within 20 minutes of an authorized service provider.”