Apple opening up repair parts and tools to more third-party repair shops

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited August 29
Apple has announced a new repair program, offering more independent repair businesses of all sizes the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals, and diagnostics as its Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers.




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 -- but is not an immediate process, and requires passing an exam and completion to the course material to Apple's satisfaction.

"To better meet our customers' needs, we're making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. "When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right. We believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested."

There are limitations on the program. Home-based businesses will not be approved, Apple maintains control of all trademarks, and applications can be rejected for any reason. Apple also requires that business documentation be provided upon application, and reserves the right to inspect those documents at any time.

The launch of the program follows a pilot program launch with 20 independent repair businesses in North America, Europe and Asia who are currently offering genuine parts for repairs. Apple also notes that this is following the expansion of service to over 1000 Best Buy locations.

What this is not, is distribution of circuit-level diagrams. Repair shops will still be limited to full assembly swaps. like replacing an entire motherboard and the like. At present it isn't clear what Apple will charge shops for parts, or the larger and more expensive equipment needed for things like a Secure Enclave calibration, and the like.

The program appears to be an evolution of the "Apple Genuine Parts Repair" program that was discovered in March 2018. 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, presentation slides discovered in 2018 say that providers can "keep doing what you're doing, with Apple genuine parts, reliable parts supply, and Apple process and training."

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.

This is the biggest shift in Apple's repair policies since it started enforcing the rules on authorized repair centers in 1979.

AppleInsider has asked Apple for finer details of the program, and will update accordingly.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    Apple sees the handwriting on the wall and gives in. Even with numerous third party authorized repair centers cropping up people will still opt for the cheap way out. They won't care if the battery or screen are genuine Apple parts. The iPhone they spent hundreds of dollars on will be left in the hands of some outfit in a shopping mall kiosk. When the repair turns out bad they will rage against Apple like they always do. For me personally I would never consider taking my iPhone or iMac or Watch to anyone but Apple for repair or battery replacement. To me it’s just common sense.
    rob53airnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 418member
    lkrupp said:
    Apple sees the handwriting on the wall and gives in. Even with numerous third party authorized repair centers cropping up people will still opt for the cheap way out. They won't care if the battery or screen are genuine Apple parts. The iPhone they spent hundreds of dollars on will be left in the hands of some outfit in a shopping mall kiosk. When the repair turns out bad they will rage against Apple like they always do. For me personally I would never consider taking my iPhone or iMac or Watch to anyone but Apple for repair or battery replacement. To me it’s just common sense.
    Your position is common sense.  But common sense should also tell you that many people do not live anywhere close to an Apple store, so Apple employees can do the repair. 
    muthuk_vanalingamairnerd
  • Reply 3 of 16
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,086member
    larryjw said:
    lkrupp said:
    Apple sees the handwriting on the wall and gives in. Even with numerous third party authorized repair centers cropping up people will still opt for the cheap way out. They won't care if the battery or screen are genuine Apple parts. The iPhone they spent hundreds of dollars on will be left in the hands of some outfit in a shopping mall kiosk. When the repair turns out bad they will rage against Apple like they always do. For me personally I would never consider taking my iPhone or iMac or Watch to anyone but Apple for repair or battery replacement. To me it’s just common sense.
    Your position is common sense.  But common sense should also tell you that many people do not live anywhere close to an Apple store, so Apple employees can do the repair. 
    You can always mail your iPhone to Apple or one of the many authorized repair centers (at least in the US). I've used Apple authorized service centers and they do good work. You just have to locate one and Apple makes it easy by going through their Support website, identifying the potential problem, logging in using your Apple ID, and selecting your location. Up pops Apple and Apple authorized service centers, including the recently announced Best Buys stores. I just did one for the greater Sacramento area and Apple showed me locations from Fairfield, to Woodland, to Stockton to Auburn and Folsom including some I've never heard of (Core Care and Mobile Kangaroo). Most were at Best Buy stores with only two Apple Stores. Your mileage may vary but I see this as pretty good support in my area.

    https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/service


  • Reply 4 of 16
    ...there are several long time small independent authorized dealers here and they have in my experience done a great job. I try to support them whenever I can. The greatest benefit seems far shorter wait times, or even on request repairs between meetings once parts are in... They are also happy to assist with custom configurations on older hardware that offers such potential. In my view they have only improved the Apple experience. They also offer tested used macs and one has salvaged parts for such, assisting those on a budget and allowing repairs of older hardware that might otherwise be scrapped due to lack of parts, and extending the useful life and sustainability of Apple hardware...
    edited August 29
  • Reply 5 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    larryjw said:
    lkrupp said:
    Apple sees the handwriting on the wall and gives in. Even with numerous third party authorized repair centers cropping up people will still opt for the cheap way out. They won't care if the battery or screen are genuine Apple parts. The iPhone they spent hundreds of dollars on will be left in the hands of some outfit in a shopping mall kiosk. When the repair turns out bad they will rage against Apple like they always do. For me personally I would never consider taking my iPhone or iMac or Watch to anyone but Apple for repair or battery replacement. To me it’s just common sense.
    Your position is common sense.  But common sense should also tell you that many people do not live anywhere close to an Apple store, so Apple employees can do the repair. 
    Supposedly all Best Buy store are now authorized Apple repair centers. Supposedly the Best Buy technicians are certified by Apple. But there are numerous stories of botched or ineffective repairs from customers who took their gear to Best Buy for repair. Your mileage may vary.

    I also agree with Apple’s position that they should not be required to provide detailed schematics and circuit board details because those would immediately make their way to Chinese knock-off manufacturers. 
    edited August 29 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    I went to Apple Store in Schaumberg, IL because my iPhone 6s+ had trouble charging.  I was told it was the iPhone 6s+ and not the new lighting plug cord.  I was told by the Apple employee that Apple would not repair it.   The Apple employee told me it was time for a new iPhone.   I looked up a repair store on iFixit and found one nearby which also happened to be in Schaumberg.   The technician hesitated to replace the lightning port because according to him most of the time it’s the motherboard. The technician did replace the lightning port, and if I remember correctly, the charge was about $60, however told me it was no longer water resistant.  He showed me the tiny rubber water seal and I certainly could understand why he told me it was no longer water resistant - I could live with it. The tech thought I would be back within a week, and told me he could order the motherboard. Well, it’s been over six months now, and I haven’t had any charging issues. So rather than spend hundreds of dollars on a new iPhone, my iPhone 6s+ is still charging. I will spend hundreds of dollars if not over 1000, when I get my next iPhone.  I would like this one to last as long as possible, and pass it on to a friend or family member who doesn’t have an iPhone.  By passing along my old iPhone's two households have become Apple customers, yet both households told me initially they would never have purchased Apple products because of the high price; each household now has multiple Apple products.
    muthuk_vanalingamSpamSandwichairnerdcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    lkrupp said:
    I also agree with Apple’s position that they should not be required to provide detailed schematics and circuit board details because those would immediately make their way to Chinese knock-off manufacturers. 
    How does this even crop up as an excuse?  Counterfeiters have pretty much every component and manual they'd ever need to bootleg Apple products.  Seriously, what part or process do you think counterfeiters are lacking?  I mean, some of their stock rolls right off Apple's assembly lines.
    lkrupp said:
    Apple sees the handwriting on the wall and gives in. Even with numerous third party authorized repair centers cropping up people will still opt for the cheap way out. They won't care if the battery or screen are genuine Apple parts. The iPhone they spent hundreds of dollars on will be left in the hands of some outfit in a shopping mall kiosk. When the repair turns out bad they will rage against Apple like they always do. For me personally I would never consider taking my iPhone or iMac or Watch to anyone but Apple for repair or battery replacement. To me it’s just common sense.

    Thing is, there's no guarantee the repair will turn out bad.  I'd guess most don't or we'd hear all of that raging against Apple you brought up. /s   You wouldn't do it, and that's your right.  Others would because the see the risk as minimal.  It's their right.  It doesn't affect you at all... at least it shouldn't. 
    muthuk_vanalingamairnerd
  • Reply 8 of 16
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,170member
    I still want to see t he Right to Repair laws to be passed!!! This whole Board swap crap is just that. So many things can be fixed on the original boards for a fraction of the price. Who wants to just be a part swapper? Apple all the time tells people it'll cost $1000+ t fix their computer, while it could be fixed for FREE to maybe $100.
    muthuk_vanalingamCloudTalkinairnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    lkrupp said:
    Apple sees the handwriting on the wall and gives in. Even with numerous third party authorized repair centers cropping up people will still opt for the cheap way out. They won't care if the battery or screen are genuine Apple parts. The iPhone they spent hundreds of dollars on will be left in the hands of some outfit in a shopping mall kiosk. When the repair turns out bad they will rage against Apple like they always do. For me personally I would never consider taking my iPhone or iMac or Watch to anyone but Apple for repair or battery replacement. To me it’s just common sense.
    For you it makes sense but personally I have more faith in people and their ability to repair an Apple product and for a lot less money. 
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Does anyone know who can replace the cracked glass on the back of my iPhone XS for less than $549 not including tax?
  • Reply 11 of 16
    stompystompy Posts: 338member
    spice-boy said:
    Does anyone know who can replace the cracked glass on the back of my iPhone XS for less than $549 not including tax?
    People.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Msd3kMsd3k Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    I clicked the link and this appears to be iPhone only, not computer repair. Did someone see somewhere else that this would extend to the computers?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    […] 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.
    That seems like a bad policy. A new component could be defective, which corrupts the troubleshooting process. I can understand a prohibition on returning the product to the customer with used parts inside, but for troubleshooting a used component seems like the preferred approach.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 252member
    stompy said:
    spice-boy said:
    Does anyone know who can replace the cracked glass on the back of my iPhone XS for less than $549 not including tax?
    People.
    Good response .. it was advertising.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 669member
    This feels like nothing more than Apple trying to throw a bone to the right-to-repair legislation in order to try to slow the momentum.  While I love this move and it will pretty much serve my needs when I have repairs needed, I still want to see the right to repair bills move forward.  Self-regulation like this only works as long as there is pressure and eyeballs on the issue.  If the right-to-repair stuff fizzles out, within a year these changes Apple has made will start to get more restrictive.  Nothing against apple, all industries do this.  
    avon b7muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,106member
    "it appears that the cost for some iPhone parts, such as a $350 screen for the iPhone XS Max, can sometimes exceed the cost of having Apple simply do the entire repair, making the cost of going to an independent repair shop higher than going to Apple."
    muthuk_vanalingam
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