Apple is finally relaxing its stance on third-party repairs, as the company is on the verge of expanding its independent repair provider program globally.
The tech giant announced last night that the program was expanding to 200 more countries. In regions like Australia, Brazil, India, Russia, Taiwan and Vietnam, the process kicks off next week and the rest of the countries will follow later in the year.
The company initially launched the program in 2019 to allow US customers to have their iPhones – especially basic parts such as batteries, speakers, and displays – repaired from authorized third-party vendors. Apple later included Macs in the program and last year the company extended it to Europe and Canada.
When a third-party service provider joins the program, Apple provides them with genuine repair manuals, diagnostics, tools, and parts to certify them as Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP). Membership in this program is free and service providers must go through a simple training and qualification process to become an eligible AASP.
While the pieces might cost the same as what you would pay at official Apple repair centers, local businesses can attract customers by setting lower service prices. Plus, you don’t have to travel too far to look for an official center.
Traditionally, Apple has tried to block third-party repairs on several occasions. In 2018, the company confirmed that its T2 chip would block some repairs on Macs. In 2019, iPhones started displaying a warning label if you replaced their batteries through an unofficial repair center. Over the past few years, the cabinet has been lobbying a lot against the right to redress legislation. and fought associated legal proceedings.
However, authorities around the world are taking a a firmer stance at the request of manufacturers makes gadgets easily repairable so that they last longer. Last year, the EU voted for new repair right rules that include phones and tablets. In January, France introduced a repairability index that requires manufacturers to include a score to indicate how easy a gadget is to repair. You can see that some iPhone models have a pretty low score.
The expansion of Apple’s repair program is a good first step in making it easy for Apple customers to repair their gadgets. With a bit of luck, the company will include more components to avoid having to go to official service centers.
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Published March 30, 2021 – 06:26 UTC