Apple Makes it Easier to Repair Your iPhone Where You Want

Apple just vastly expanded its Independent Repair Provider Program

If your out-of-warranty iPhone breaks, you now have a better chance of getting it repaired with official Apple parts and procedures, even if Apple doesn't do it.

Broken iPhone
 Getty Images

Third-party iPhone repair was a thriving industry long before Apple decided last year to start training some repair shops and providing them with official Apple parts, but what Apple started is now successful enough that the company is significantly expanding its Independent Repair Provider Program.

Unpack this for me: Over the last year or so, Apple's been working with retail partners and third-party repair companies to provide iPhone repair alternatives. The issue is that once iPhones go out of warranty and owners can't simply bring them to Apple Store geniuses for a free (or low-cost) battery or cracked screen replacement, they turn to one of the thousands of mom-and-pop repair shops that may not use Apple-approved replacement parts or methods.

Trustworthy repairs: Apple seems resigned to the fact that customers will look for affordable repair alternatives and is now expanding the Independent Repair Provider program to 140 companies and 700 repair locations in the U.S. It's also launching the repair program in Europe and Canada. Repair sites do not pay Apple to join.

Apple approved: These fixit shops, including those under the uBreakiFix shingle, have access to:

  • Apple repair training
  • Apple repair tools
  • Genuine Apple parts
  • Apple Repair manuals
  • Apple diagnostic tools

How will you know: For consumers who want a quick screen fix, but also want an Apple-approved repair provider, they can check Apple's "Authorized Service Providers and Independent Repair Providers" site, where they can enter the store name and location (country and city). We tried a few local repair shops, but couldn't find any verified repair centers (sometimes the site couldn't even match our local city).

Bottom Line: There are many who believe in their own "Right to Repair" gadgets and will buy the necessary hardware and tools to do so. Apple still doesn't support personal repair of iPhones, but at least this expansion means there are more Apple approved repair options outside the tightly-controlled and somewhat location-limited Apple Store circle.

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