Customers in need of iPhone repairs will now be able to think outside the Genius Bar.
Apple has long been criticized for its repair policies. Third-party technicians have had difficulty getting access to parts, making repairs for some products impossible unless consumers take them into Apple’s own stores. The result has been something similar to “dealer only” automobile repairs, forcing customers into long Genius Bar cues, or on wild goose chases for authorized service providers. All of that is about to change.
Today, Apple announced a new repair program specifically targeting out-of-warranty iPhone repairs. Apple has committed to providing independent business with “the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics as its Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs).”
This new program will first launch in the U.S. and then expand worldwide. While Apple has a network of over 5,000 AASPs around the world, many customers still have challenges getting their devices serviced.
Independent businesses can join Apple’s new program at no cost. The business must simply prove that it has an Apple-certified technician to perform the repairs.
The new program follows on the heels of a major expansion into Best Buy stores. Every location is now an AASP.
While iPhone users can breathe a sigh of relief, only time will tell if this marks a long-term change in Apple’s notoriously closed service culture.