If you live near an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider — such as every Best Buy in the US — you can typically get an Apple device repaired by trained technicians with genuine parts that won’t void your warranty.
But if you don’t live near either of those, you’ve had to rely on either mailing your device off to Apple or taking it to a local place that may or may not be using sketchy parts or practices.
Well, that all changes today with Apple’s launch of its new Independent Repair Provider Program. Apple Newsroom:
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). The program is launching in the US with plans to expand to other countries.
This is great news. Now those cellphone repair outfits or local computer repair shops can have access to the same training, equipment, tools, guides, and more as Apple and its authorized providers use. This means that end users like you and me can have a little more trust if needing to have a device repaired.
Another great tidbit is the barrier to entry for independent providers is pretty low.
There is no cost to join Apple’s independent repair program. To qualify for the new program, businesses need to have an Apple-certified technician who can perform the repairs. The process for certification is simple and free of charge. To learn more and apply, visit support.apple.com/irp-program. Qualifying repair businesses will receive Apple-genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics at the same cost as AASPs.
Now, instead of advising friends and family to only seek repairs from a small list of places, I can check and see if a shop has this certification and access, and feel better about recommending them.
I’ve had friends take their device to independent shops and I have definitely seen some sketchy repairs — such as a Touch ID/Home button that doesn’t feel quite right, making me think it is a knock-off part. And since that is a part that is supposed to be part of the security of the device, it left me with a bad feeling.
I’m very glad Apple has launched this program, and I hope independent repair shops take it seriously and join the program.