Apple will allow now more independent repair shops to buy "real" iPhone parts and tools, allowing them to perform repairs in much the same way as an Apple Store. The change can be useful for iPhone owners because Apple continues to block repairs, although it can also lead to higher prices for parts because they all go through Apple.
Until now, independent repair shops had to & # 39; authorized service providers & # 39; to get real parts from Apple. But there were important reasons why repair shops might not want to participate: they had to pay Apple to be part of the program, and they would be limited to performing authorized repairs only because motherboard rather detailed.
Most legitimate American repair shops should be able to purchase parts from Apple according to the new rules. A repair technician must follow an Apple training, but the whole is free. Apple sells them parts – along with tools, manuals, and diagnostic access – for the same price that they are offered to authorized service providers. They will only be available in the US for the time being, but Apple says it will eventually be expanded to other countries.
The major limitation is that Apple only offers parts and tools for & # 39; the most common iPhone repairs that are not covered by the warranty & # 39 ;. That probably means battery replacements and cracked screens. For more specific or complicated repairs, these stores still stand on their own. However, unlike authorized service providers, they don't have to send customers with other problems to Apple; they can perform repairs themselves with parts from third parties if they wish.
The editor in chief of iFixit, Kyle Wiens, said the announcement was "a good thing" for repairs, but noted that it ignored people who want to do repairs and Apple still refuses any store that wants it. iFixit writer Kevin Purdy calling it a "bold move" and pointed to a prior leak that showed that available components could be speakers, vibration motors, cameras & more. But he also added that there is a risk that the costs will go up.
Unfortunately, this leaves Apple customers who want to do their own repairs in the cold. If these diagnoses are safe enough to provide to independent technicians, they must also be available to consumers!
– Kyle Wiens (@kwiens) August 29, 2019
Apple does not disclose the cost of the parts offered, but iFixit previously saw documents with prices ranging from reasonable ($ 16 to $ 33 for a battery) to unworkably high (a screen that costs more than Apple's own screen repair service). Although the extra costs for parts offer a quality guarantee, this also means higher repair costs. (Independent stores can set their own repair prices).
"And while it's largely on the way to an open repair market, high prices can weaken the incentive for all reputable repair companies and individuals to make iPhones work longer," Purdy wrote.
The program also addresses a growing problem for repair shops: that devices are increasingly being locked. Apple has been particularly aggressive in preventing repairs by requiring specific tools or authorized parts. Earlier this month for example i fix it discovered that Apple was beginning to let some iPhone owners with third-party battery replacements know that their new battery could not be verified as genuine. Although phones still work with the unauthorized part, Apple does not provide information about the health of the battery.
Apple has also argued for the right to repair bills, which would make it easier for consumers and third-party stores to get replacement parts for their devices.
Ultimately, even when Apple opens its repair system, Apple still keeps itself central, in control, and in a position to make money from repairs.