Apple Expanding Independent Repair Provider Program to Macs

Apple today announced that it has expanded its Independent Repair Provider Program to include Mac computers, as reported by Reuters. The program, launched in the U.S. last year, was previously limited to out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.

ifixit 2018 mbp

Image: iFixit

Apple's website has more details about the program, but it has yet to be updated to reflect the inclusion of Mac repairs. For the iPhone, the program provides participating repair shops with access to the same Apple genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals, and diagnostics as Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers.

For the iPhone, repair shops need to have an Apple-certified technician who can perform the repairs to qualify for the program.

Last month, Apple announced that it was expanding the program to Canada and Europe.

Top Rated Comments

Blackstick Avatar
10 months ago
I was a Mac Genius for 7 years, some products are an absolute pain in the ass to repair (anyone who has done a DC-Power-SATA cable replacement on a Mid 2007 iMac knows exactly what I mean).

Back in those days, new technicians spent 4 awesome weeks in Cupertino learning the in's and out's of every product Apple makes. We saw Steve Jobs several times at Caffe Macs, then a small group of us had dinner at Outback Steakhouse with Woz - who ordered steaks to go... for his little dogs.

PDFs and videos will never compare to the awesome that were Genius training classes... which are no longer a thing.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shamino Avatar
10 months ago
If it's like the existing program, it's meaningless.

As many in the repair business have documented, the existing program prohibits you from any repair more complicated than swapping major components (display, battery, motherboard), doesn't allow shops to keep parts in stock (so customers need to wait a week for every repair job) and charges insane prices for the privilege. In other words, offering customers absolutely no advantage over mailing their device to Apple.

I think it is safe to assume that any Mac-repair program is going to be similarly useless. If anyone wants to claim otherwise, well, I'll believe it when I see it. And not a minute before.

The big advantage of a (competent) independent repair shop is that they can do the kind of repairs that Apple refuses to do. Like replacing a 5 cent capacitor or a $4 power management chip (charging an hour's labor) instead of swapping a $400 motherboard (losing all of the customer's data in the process). If Apple is serious about helping repair shops, then let's see a program where authorized shops can order chips and connectors that are only sold to Apple's factories and can't (legally) be purchased elsewhere.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
10 months ago
I wonder if this move is simply to appease the attacks Apple is now enduring from politicians accusing them of unfair competition.

Apple's culture when it comes to allowing others to repair their products has been pathetic. They need to open up in this area, especially with the IOS products.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shamino Avatar
10 months ago

Apple never even allowed the indies to do component-level repairs, ever... we're a self-servicing account, and if you read the 200 pages of legalese on GSX... they're not ok with people soldering a new capacitor onto a board ever. Doesn't mean it's not a cheap, effective way to fix a failed component, but that's never been Apple's way - they prefer to let their refurbisher in China do that.
You just made my point. Apple's repair program is completely useless to all of the well-established shops that are already providing board-level repair services to customers. If I can get my Mac fixed at an independent shop in a day or two for $100, why would I want to use an "authorized" shop that will charge me $500, take a week, and destroy all my data?

Apple is only doing this because they think they can con lawmakers into thinking that their program is somehow meaningful to consumers. It's not. It's just a PR stunt that changes nothing.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
l.a.rossmann Avatar
10 months ago

Wow this opinion is so uninformed about how the entire electronics industry works. I don't even know where to begin. While I'm old enough to remember people bringing TVs, and stereos, and other electronics in for repair... those days are for the most part long gone. It makes no financial sense.
I hear this a lot. A mentor of mine at Avatar Studios, Ricky Begin, mentioned how "all this surface mount stuff is too small and there's not going to be any way to fix it in an economically viable way.". He was way smarter than I was. I was 17, just starting out in the industry, clueless and arrogant. I learned so much on basic troubleshooting of electronics from him. I owe that whole lot at Avatar 13 years ago with my career now - Gretchen, Phil, Roy Hendrickson, Ricky, for giving me the groundwork on how to be a professional technician that set me up for success in the business I would create.

It was to my great surprise that in spite of how correct he was on everything he taught me, how wrong he was on this.

My payroll shows people making $25-$42/hr + bonuses in the middle of a worldwide recession-turning-depression offering these services, and I'm profitable while doing it - in the most expensive city in the US! I've even had students that were assistant managers at pizza shops go on to start their own businesses doing this, that are making as much or more than I am!

There's a tint of arrogance when someone thinks that because they cannot figure out how to make something work, that it doesn't work. They can't make it work, so no one can. That's not the way this works. I have yet to figure out how to make component level repairs to phone motherboards economically viable for reasons other than data recovery - but I certainly wouldn't tell someone who is successful in that field there that they are uninformed, simply because I couldn't make it work.

My inability to make something profitable does not mean it is not profitable overall. It means, it is not profitable to me.

You can't figure out how this would make financial sense while satisfying customers - but I have, with a google maps/yelp rating higher than any Apple store or certified repair provider in the area. So, I would push back against this idea that people are uninformed about how the electronics industry works because they disagree with you.

edit: and you aren't recognizing the entire time component of repair. A swap of a larger component can often be done right away. Many people aren't going to be willing to wait days or weeks for a repair versus same day repair consisting of a swap.
I agree, time matters - ordering a board that matches and waiting for it to come in often takes way longer than component level diagnostics and fixing it with what's available.

Since you brought that up, let's talk about stock - something you're NOT allowed to have with Apple's IRP. For something as basic as an iPhone battery, I have to take down the customer's information(INCLUDING THEIR ADDRESS), the IMEI/serial of their phone, and submit it to Apple to order the battery. I can't stock it to provide an instant repair to a walk in customer. I have to take down their information, then ORDER it SPECIFICALLY FOR THEM and wait for it to arrive to replace their battery - something we do in 90 seconds here while they wait.

These programs have nothing to do with expedience of repairs. The Apple IRP program explicitly prohibits standard best practices, like stocking parts so customers can be in & out without wasting their time.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shamino Avatar
10 months ago

Wow this opinion is so uninformed about how the entire electronics industry works....
So all those repair shops that actually do what you claim to be impossible are just lying and cheating?

Who is uninformed?

Nobody is saying that Apple needs to do this, but they don't have to spend millions of dollars on designs and policies for the express purpose of making it extra-difficult for anybody else do perform a repair.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
Top Stories 59 Feature

Top Stories: Epic Games vs. Apple, Hidden AirTag Mode, Apple Music Hi-Fi, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 8, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
While we wait for the newly introduced iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV models to launch later this month, this week saw the kickoff of the big Epic Games v. Apple trial, with lots of juicy tidbits coming out as the two sides make their arguments. This week also saw some rumors about a Hi-Fi tier for Apple Music, more biometric sensing capabilities for Apple Watch, and timing for the...
zoom app icon

Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Sunday May 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode. This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...