Apple Expanding Independent Repair Provider Program Worldwide
Apple today announced that it is expanding its Independent Repair Provider Program to more than 200 countries, which is nearly every country where Apple products are sold.
First introduced in 2019, the Independent Repair Provider Program is designed to provide repair shops with access to genuine parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for performing out-of-warranty repairs for Apple devices.
Repair providers of all sizes, including those who are not Authorized Apple Service Providers, are able to obtain genuine Apple parts and repair manuals to offer "safe and reliable repairs" for Apple products. Apple provides independent repair shops with the same free training and tools provided to AASPs and Apple retail locations.
According to Apple, there are more than 1,500 Independent Repair Provider locations across the United States, Canada, and Europe. There is no cost to join the program, but repair providers must have an Apple-certified technician to perform the repairs. Apple says that the certification process is "simple" and free of charge, and when an employee has become a certified technician, qualifying repair providers are able to purchase genuine Apple parts and tools at the same price as AASPs.
Starting later this week, repair providers in Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, and Vietnam can learn more and apply to become Independent Repair Providers.
Later this year, the program will launch in a range of additional countries, with a full list available in Apple's announcement.
Top Rated Comments
There is no prior experience required in any of these cases. Experience is gained hands-on, and inevitably results in a certain number of botched repairs that the shop or technician must make good on.
Employers hope to hire staffs that cost them a minimum in either wasted time or damaged products/parts, so they have an incentive to hire people with previous experience doing similar repairs. That's the way life works. Nobody is born with these skills. If there's a surplus of workers with a particular skill set then experienced workers can be hired on the cheap. If the skills are harder to acquire, then experienced workers have an improved bargaining position and employers have some incentive to hire the less-skilled and train them up.
All Apple is really saying here is, "There's all sorts of pressure on us to open the repair process to more participants. To shut down those efforts, we'll make it easier for more repair shops to do that." In the end, "Right to Repair" is only successful politically because small businesses have banded together to lobby for easier entry into Apple's repair business. The vast majority of smartphone owners will never want to do their own repairs, but they do want to find a shop in their hometown that is able to competently perform those repairs instead of driving long distances or mailing the phone off to a repair facility. If Apple gives those small repair shops what they want, then most of the political pressure that's been brought to bear on Apple will disappear. The "handymen" with the desire and competence to fix their own phones is far too small a group to mount any kind of political pressure.
As to warranty? That's basic common sense. A warranty is a company's promise to stand by its product - to correct "defects in workmanship and materials." How can Apple guarantee workmanship when it's in no position to supervise that workmanship? The difference between an independent shop that becomes Apple-certified and one that is not is the degree of control and supervision Apple can provide. "Hire a tech who has passed our test and we'll sell you parts" isn't enough supervision to justify Apple standing financially behind that repair.
For example, do they still require you to have their certified, needlessly expensive iPhone opener machine? Do they still require you to replace half of the computer for a simple battery replacement? Because I highly doubt they're going to sell batteries separately. They're going to sell top cases with the battery glued in, and you bet they're going to charge for the top case even though you don't need it.