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Apple to start supplying independent iPhone repair shops with parts

The firm has totally flipped its stance toward unofficial iPhone repair shops

Apple has announced that it will be granting independent phone repair shops access to parts, tools and guides as part of a new Independent Repair Provider program. Repair shops simply have to sign up via the necessary channels to begin their partnership with Apple and receive parts for out-of-warranty repairs – something the tech firm previously kept under lock and key.

The only slight caveat is that Apple requires the repair shop in question to have at least one trained technician. Apple will apparently provide the training, according to CNBC, in the form of a preparatory course that earns the trainee a genuine Apple certification.

Repairs will reportedly not be covered by any Apple warranty, and will instead (hopefully) be covered by the warranties offered by the repair shop in question.

The program will launch in the US first, before rolling out across the globe. Apple reports that the program has already been successfully trialed at over 20 independent repair shops across North America, Europe and Asia; there’s been no word on when exactly the UK can expect the service to launch, but in the US, Apple has already begun allowing Best Buy stores to carry out iPhone repairs.

“To better meet our customers’ needs,” chief operating officer Jeff Williams said in a statement, “we’re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network.”

This decision comes as something of a surprise. Apple has traditionally been staunchly in favour of letting only authorized repair technicians repair out-of-warranty Apple products. Replacing iPhone components is notoriously tough as a result – the California-based firm has even gone as far as to oppose the state’s proposed right-to-repair bill, which would force tech manufacturers to grant free access to the tools and materials necessary to make repairs.

There are already over 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers across the globe – under this new program, however, it should be even easier to eke a little more life out of your beloved iPhone. That is, before the launch of the iPhone 11 in September.

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