When it comes to having an Apple product repaired, the first choice will be to go to an Apple Store or a large third-party company. If you live in an area where your options are limited, the tech giant recently announced that an expansion of its Independent Repair Provider program could help.
Apple plans to extend its repair service to “nearly every country where its products are sold,” which means that someone near you will soon be using official Apple parts to repair your broken phone. The service is currently only available in the US, Canada, and Europe, but according to Apple, repair providers from Australia, Japan, and Korea will be able to join the program this week, with providers from many more nations, including China, joining later this year.
Providers must apply to participate, and once accepted, they can only purchase a limited number of first-party products such as batteries, displays, and diagnostic equipment. Although your local repair person will be able to address the most common problems with official parts, anything more unusual will need to be handled by Apple or one of its approved service providers, or risk voiding the warranty or being unsupported down the line.
Other aspects to be mindful of if you do the hard work of repairing devices. Joining the program comes with a contract that grants Apple the right to audit repair shops and find them if anything goes wrong. If Apple discovers a shop using knockoff parts in more than 2 percent of repairs, it will charge $1,000 per transaction.
Apple appears to accept third-party repairs only if it can profit from them, and this repair program appears to be no exception. After all, this is the company that regularly tries to kill right-to-repair legislation and has devised ways to render iPhones unusable if they use third-party batteries.