Following a successful pilot period, Apple has today announced the Independent Repair Provider program, a new repair scheme that offers independent businesses the chance to officially perform common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.
Similar to the way the Apple Authorized Service Providers scheme (AASP) works, businesses in the IRP program will have access to genuine parts, tools, manuals, and diagnostics, as well as official training from Apple’s own technicians. Any business, large or small, can apply to enter the IRP program and earn Apple-certified technician status. Parts sellers and distributors are not able to apply for this program though, and companies wanting to be a part of the scheme must also be situated in a commercial area and cannot be a residential address. Of course, Apple also requires that the services and products it supplies be kept confidential.
Apple has long been criticized for its attitude toward third-party repairs, and introduced the AASP program and partnership with Best Buy in an attempt to combat this reputation. Though this announcement may go some way to mollifying those with negative perceptions of Apple’s after-sale repair service, it may not be far enough for some. “Right to repair” campaigns are still pushing for tech companies to be forced to share their parts and expertise with any third-party repair shop. Apple has always opposed this idea, saying repairs should be performed by only the best engineers — and by limiting the field to only its authorized technicians, Apple is protecting that quality.
“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,”“When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right”, said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “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.”
The Independent Repair Provider program is currently only available in the U.S., but Apple intends to launch it in other countries. To apply, head over to the Apple Independent Repair Provider program webpage and email the provided email address with your business’s details. For the rest of us, expect Apple to provide an IRP finder tool once the program is properly up and running.
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