'Apple Genuine Parts Repair' program signals potential shift in stance on right to repair

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 29
A new report has unearthed details about a "Apple Genuine Parts Repair" program, which puts Apple service materials in the hands of some companies with fewer restrictions than current service providers may be under.




Apple has had a path for companies to become an authorized service provider for decades, with requirements for the program varying dramatically across the years. The new "Apple Genuine Parts Repair" program may be lightening that up somewhat, but there are few firm details on what Apple will require to qualify for the new program.

The report, and leaked presentation slides, published by Motherboard, suggests that the program is already in place at a few vendors. Vendors cited are Mobile Kangaroo in California, Simple Mac in Salt Lake City have access to the program, as well as Makina Technologies in Dubai.

Alleged slide from
Alleged slide from "Apple Genuine Parts Repair" presentation


The program appears to specifically allow repair shops to do things that Apple-authorized centers have been doing for years, without telling Apple. For instance, there are specific prohibitions on swapping in a "known-good" component not from Apple's stock for troubleshooting, requiring a service replacement part be ordered first.

Specifically, the presentation slides say that providers can "keep doing what you're doing, with Apple genuine parts, reliable parts supply, and Apple process and training." Additionally, the details don't limit the parts to iPhone, iPad, or Mac and include all three.

How the system works now, and where it may change

At present, for most authorized service centers, few if any parts are kept in stock. The remainder are ordered after the diagnostic process is complete, and shipped FedEx to the repair shop. The shop performs the repair, and must return the "core" failed part to Apple for examination, refurbishment and return to service stock, or both.

In the case of a warranty repair, Apple picks up the tab for the difference between the core price and the non-return price. Otherwise, the shop pays the bill, which is then passed to the customer. Core prices are often up to 75 percent the cost of the whole part, ordered new. So, part accountability is important, and Apple has put prohibitions in place to prevent shops from selling directly to customers as a result of abuse in years gone by.

Shops selling parts to users is grounds for a loss of Apple-authorized status -- which can be financially deadly. At present, it isn't clear if the requirement for service centers to perform a "core" swap is retained in the new program, nor if they will be allowed to sell parts directly to customers. It doesn't seem likely that Apple will loosen either requirement.

It also isn't clear if there will be an upper line that these providers can't cross. For instance, Apple may choose to retain the hardware for linking parts after a repair involving something involving the secure enclave is performed. Board-level repair, such as that performed by Louis Rossmann is likely to be frowned upon as well.

Immediate reaction

Apple repair venue iFixit doesn't think the rumored program goes far enough.

"To start, Apple's plan appears to be rather limited. We know they've talked to big repair chains, but they have not spoken to any of the smaller repair shops we contacted," wrote iFixit in a post on Thursday afternoon. "If only the large national chains get access to these parts, the independent shops-- ... get left out in the cold, and will likely lose business as a result. This continues to encourage a repair monoculture that stifles competition, job creation, and innovation in the repair space."

"Apple would like you to think that independent shops are a sketchy, dangerous minefield of service options that use low-quality parts that can lead to problems down the line. And in some cases, that may be true-- but that's Apple's fault, not the repair shops'," iFixit continues. "If Apple would just provide OEM parts to independent repair shops at a reasonable price, these risks would be far smaller."

Potential sea-change, if accurate

AppleInsider has reached out to Apple for comment, but has not as of yet received a response. Third-party vendors we spoke to after the report was published said that they had heard "rumblings" that such a thing was in the works, but denied having any knowledge that it was imminent.

If the report is completely accurate, it would be the biggest shift in Apple's repair policies since it started enforcing the rules on authorized repair centers in 1979.

Apple has historically opposed right-to-repair laws in places like California, claiming it would expose company secrets and create safety and security problems. While there are innumerable third-party Apple repair firms around the world, only Apple and its authorized service providers are able to perform full service in a way that doesn't void warranties. Presently, the company doesn't provide parts or repair manuals outside of its official network.

Twenty U.S. states have some form of right-to-repair legislation under consideration. Apple is one of several tech companies lobbying politicians to act in its favor.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,358member
    Good news - Anything that makes it easier to get your device repaired properly with quality parts is a good thing. Hopefully the right to repair movement keeps progressing as well.
    dysamoriaavon b7airnerd1STnTENDERBITSdavgregforgot username
  • Reply 2 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    DAalsethMisterKitbeowulfschmidtrandominternetpersonbonobobAppleExposed
  • Reply 3 of 17
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 609member
    Having Apple authorized Repair Stations is good. Up here we go through London Drugs fro everything we need done from warranty claims to updating iPhone batteries. They're really good.

    My fear is that I hear Right To Repair zealots that want manufacturers to sell all parts, and manuals and software to anyone, regardless of training or intent. That would be a disaster. Similarly I keep hearing from some of the more vocal supporters of the RtR movement that everything must be made REPAIRABLE by anyone. No more molded in parts, no more security screws, no more adhesives. You can kiss any waterproofing and most of your durability goodbye with that. 
    lkrupprandominternetperson
  • Reply 4 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,556member

    "Apple would like you to think that independent shops are a sketchy, dangerous minefield of service options that use low-quality parts that can lead to problems down the line. And in some cases, that may be true-- but that's Apple's fault, not the repair shops'," iFixit continues. "If Apple would just provide OEM parts to independent repair shops at a reasonable price, these risks would be far smaller."
    Ah yeah, if sketchy repair shops choose to buy cheaper counterfeit parts, it’s Apple’s fault for not selling OEM parts as cheaply as the sketchy shops want them (as cheap as counterfeit or gray market parts). Suuure. That’s like blaming video game piracy on game makers for not selling their games at what pirates consider a “reasonable” price. 

    iFixit, still jokers. 
    edited March 28 randominternetpersonanome
  • Reply 5 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    DAalseth said:
    Having Apple authorized Repair Stations is good. Up here we go through London Drugs fro everything we need done from warranty claims to updating iPhone batteries. They're really good.

    My fear is that I hear Right To Repair zealots that want manufacturers to sell all parts, and manuals and software to anyone, regardless of training or intent. That would be a disaster. Similarly I keep hearing from some of the more vocal supporters of the RtR movement that everything must be made REPAIRABLE by anyone. No more molded in parts, no more security screws, no more adhesives. You can kiss any waterproofing and most of your durability goodbye with that. 
    And the RtR zealots claim that manufacturers like Apple intentionally make their products hard to repair because of the profit motive. Well what about THEIR profit motive in wanting to make money off of repairs. Force Apple to supply manuals and parts wholesale so they can gouge customers themselves. They’d probably also want Apple to make available to them the software diagnostic apps and any special tools or jigs needed for disassembly. 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 6 of 17
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,358member
    lkrupp said:
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    And I have a local, independent repair shop that gives better service, better communication and better prices than the dealer. So what’s your point? Because there’s a possibility that somebody might perform sub-par repair services? By your logic, dealers are the only people that should be able to work on a car just because there are some shady repair shops around. Of course, I had some recall work done by the VW dealer a few years ago and they forgot to tighten the bolts to the fuel line, leaving me stranded on the highway on the way home when the fuel line broke loose. 

    Apple zealots like you like to portray choice in the marketplace as something bad - have you thought to think that maybe, just maybe, having more options might be a good thing?
    cornchipairnerdhawkpride1471STnTENDERBITSlarz2112chemenginmuthuk_vanalingamforgot username
  • Reply 7 of 17
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,311member
    Loving the "Defective Part Return" icon.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 662member
    lkrupp said:
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    I hear if you hand your phone to one of those unlicensed places you instantly contract an STD and a baby seal dies. 

    Scaremongering at its best.  Are there bad apples in an unregulated world?  Yes.  Are there bad apples in regulated ones?  Yes.  Ask anyone ever ripped off by a roofer (regulated down to the town and sometimes HOA level), an A/C repair man (regulted federally, state, and locally), or even engineers (like the florida bridge collapse last year).  "stuff" happens, but to make that the basis of not making parts available is simple minded.  If Apple is worried about security, then don't make the security parts available.  Start with Apple Approved screens and move from there.  If you need any of the security components replaced, then go back to Apple.  
    MplsPhawkpride1471STnTENDERBITSlarz2112chemenginmuthuk_vanalingamforgot username
  • Reply 9 of 17
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 662member
    MplsP said:
    lkrupp said:
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    And I have a local, independent repair shop that gives better service, better communication and better prices than the dealer. So what’s your point? Because there’s a possibility that somebody might perform sub-par repair services? By your logic, dealers are the only people that should be able to work on a car just because there are some shady repair shops around. Of course, I had some recall work done by the VW dealer a few years ago and they forgot to tighten the bolts to the fuel line, leaving me stranded on the highway on the way home when the fuel line broke loose. 

    Apple zealots like you like to portray choice in the marketplace as something bad - have you thought to think that maybe, just maybe, having more options might be a good thing?
    Not to mention I can go to any dealership and purchase ANY OEM part directly from them.  They don't care who installs it.  If I buy a waterpump from Ford and I tear something up installing it wrong, does Ford have a hard time determining that?  Would they tell me to pound sand if I tried to make a warranty claim?  Of course.

    But to some here, selling OEM parts to consumers means Apple will be defrauded with all the claims after people break their stuff.  Every iphone i have had has cracked its screen.  I have fixed every one myself, even the vaunted 3G with it's crappy heat-to-remove black plastic piece.   Never had an issue with those repairs, other than the colors were off from the non-Apple screen.  Wish I could have paid more to get the real thing, but wasn't an option.  

    Not everyone is a criminal, and not everyone is too stupid to use a pentalobe and suction cup.  
    MplsPhawkpride1471STnTENDERBITSlarz2112chemenginmuthuk_vanalingamforgot username
  • Reply 10 of 17
    MplsP said:
    lkrupp said:
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    And I have a local, independent repair shop that gives better service, better communication and better prices than the dealer. So what’s your point? Because there’s a possibility that somebody might perform sub-par repair services? By your logic, dealers are the only people that should be able to work on a car just because there are some shady repair shops around. Of course, I had some recall work done by the VW dealer a few years ago and they forgot to tighten the bolts to the fuel line, leaving me stranded on the highway on the way home when the fuel line broke loose. 

    Apple zealots like you like to portray choice in the marketplace as something bad - have you thought to think that maybe, just maybe, having more options might be a good thing?
    You're misconstruing what lkrupp is saying.  He's reacting to ifixit's quote that it's Apple's "fault" if there are "independent shops [that are] sketchy [...] that use low-quality parts that can lead to problems."  That's clearly nonsense.  There are reputable firms and scam artists and everything in between.  What we "zealots" are opposed to is Apple being forced by heavy-handed regulation to design their products so that lowest common denominator repair shop can fix them and from being forced to support and stand behind such shops.  
  • Reply 11 of 17
    airnerd said:
    MplsP said:
    lkrupp said:
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    And I have a local, independent repair shop that gives better service, better communication and better prices than the dealer. So what’s your point? Because there’s a possibility that somebody might perform sub-par repair services? By your logic, dealers are the only people that should be able to work on a car just because there are some shady repair shops around. Of course, I had some recall work done by the VW dealer a few years ago and they forgot to tighten the bolts to the fuel line, leaving me stranded on the highway on the way home when the fuel line broke loose. 

    Apple zealots like you like to portray choice in the marketplace as something bad - have you thought to think that maybe, just maybe, having more options might be a good thing?
    Not to mention I can go to any dealership and purchase ANY OEM part directly from them.  They don't care who installs it.  If I buy a waterpump from Ford and I tear something up installing it wrong, does Ford have a hard time determining that?  Would they tell me to pound sand if I tried to make a warranty claim?  Of course.

    ...
    Let's not forget that Ford (etc.) decide what parts/modules are available as an OEM part.  I can buy an ignition module or a O2 sensor, but I can't insist that Ford sell me the parts that make up those components.  A better example might be the power, heated seats in an SUV.  I expect that in most catalogs, the whole damn seat is one part.  Some things are serviceable and some aren't.  An iPhone is chock full of the latter.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,358member
    MplsP said:
    lkrupp said:
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    And I have a local, independent repair shop that gives better service, better communication and better prices than the dealer. So what’s your point? Because there’s a possibility that somebody might perform sub-par repair services? By your logic, dealers are the only people that should be able to work on a car just because there are some shady repair shops around. Of course, I had some recall work done by the VW dealer a few years ago and they forgot to tighten the bolts to the fuel line, leaving me stranded on the highway on the way home when the fuel line broke loose. 

    Apple zealots like you like to portray choice in the marketplace as something bad - have you thought to think that maybe, just maybe, having more options might be a good thing?
    You're misconstruing what lkrupp is saying.  He's reacting to ifixit's quote that it's Apple's "fault" if there are "independent shops [that are] sketchy [...] that use low-quality parts that can lead to problems."  That's clearly nonsense.  There are reputable firms and scam artists and everything in between.  What we "zealots" are opposed to is Apple being forced by heavy-handed regulation to design their products so that lowest common denominator repair shop can fix them and from being forced to support and stand behind such shops.  
    But no one is forcing Apple to change the design of their phones. The legislation, as I understand it is simply to make it possible to get the parts to repair it. People have raised concerns about design secrets and security being compromised.   I don’t think Apple should be forced to reveal trade secrets, but I also think this is a straw argument in many cases. 
  • Reply 13 of 17
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 346member
    The right to repair movement should strive to push products that are designed to be easily repaired and with as few proprietary components as possible.

    In my business, Medical Imaging/Radiology, the manufacturers switched over from using industry standard components to proprietary stuff down to the level of switches and lamps. This greatly inflated the price of maintaining equipment and slowed down the process of getting equipment back on line. This was not to improve performance of anything but the bottom line of their service business. 
    forgot username
  • Reply 14 of 17
    majorslmajorsl Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    lkrupp said:
    I’ll just point out the obvious example of the state of automobile repair shops. Any swinging dick can hang out a shingle that says Auto Repair with no requirements, licensing, or training. A couple of times a year investigative journalists produce segments on shady repair shops that rip customers off with unnecessary repairs and shoddy workmanship. iFixit is blowing smoke when it alleges independent shops are as white as the new driven snow and it’s all Apple’s fault for not allowing repair manuals and genuine parts. Like the automobile repair business the electronics repair business is unregulated, unmonitored, unlicensed, and anyone can set up shop claiming they are experts in the repair of iPhones. You can kiss privacy and security goodby when you hand your iPhone over to one of these places. Like the perverts who place hidden cameras in tanning bed salons, hotel rooms and the like you simply won’t know what was done to your device.
    Maybe you need to find a more reputable one then. My local shop offers better service, better pricing, and quality part better than OEM. Most of the local dealers in my area, on the other hand, are crooked as question marks. 
    chemengin
  • Reply 15 of 17
    With regard to non-security related components (e.g., the glass screen) I could potentially be on board with "right to repair." But some components in a computer product can be implemented by the manufacturer to be protected with digital signatures to avoid untrusted components that could compromise system security, such as, perhaps, the fingerprint reader, for example. For those components is Apple supposed to hand out private signing keys to hundreds of fixit shops that iOS treats as trustworthy? Do we, as consumers of secure devices, want untrustworthy public verification keys in our operating system or do we want to be able to trust the products and components that we use? I.e., when security and repairability conflict, which one wins?
  • Reply 16 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 849unconfirmed, member
    I hate these "right to repair" advocates. Half of these dolts wouldn't know how to fix an iPhone if you gave them the parts and then they'd blame Apple for "breaking" their device. 
  • Reply 17 of 17
    The program appears to specifically allow repair shops to do things that Apple-authorized centers have been doing for years, without telling Apple. For instance, there are specific prohibitions on swapping in a "known-good" component not from Apple's stock for troubleshooting, requiring a service replacement part be ordered first. Brazzers   Youporn  Xhamster 
    edited April 1
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