Apple’s Independent Repair Services Expand

image credit: Apple

By Chand Bellur

July 13, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. PT

  • Apple recently developed a program to help train and certify independent repair shops.
  • The Independent Repair Provider Program certified over 700 new repair shops in the United States.
  • Apple now offers its program for third-party repair services in Canada and Europe.

Apple’s Independent Repair Provider Program Offers Knowledge, Parts, and Certification

There’s more to being a tech company than putting out new products. Unfortunately, Apple is one of the few companies that realizes this. Beyond its network of Apple Stores, the Cupertino tech giant now plays an active role in cultivating third-party repair shops.

The Independent Repair Provider Program (IRPP) enables third-party service shops to adhere to Apple standards. The program is easy to join. As long as you have a business with an easily accessible public location, you can apply for the IRPP.

Although joining the program is easy, certification is another story. Any technician who touches an iPhone must be trained and certified. Apple provides curriculum and exams for technicians. Service technicians must pass exams using an online Authorized Testing Center. Just like an Apple product, the IRPP exhibits high standards.

Consumers Can Verify Service Provider Certification

Anyone can repair an iPhone. Apple doesn’t prohibit third-party repair shops from fixing cracked screens or other iPhone problems. Unfortunately, many repair shops use counterfeit parts, resulting in fragile repairs.

As a consumer, it’s best to find an iPhone repair shop that uses official parts. Most people want a qualified and certified technician to make repairs. For all of these reasons, Apple created a web page to verify a repair shop’s certification status. Additionally, customers can find certified repair shops close to home.

Keep in mind, it’s only worth visiting a third-party repair shop if your iPhone is beyond its warranty. If your Apple smartphone’s warranty hasn’t expired, your best bet is to take it to an Apple Store. You can also send it to Apple for service. Third-party repair shops are a better option for Apple devices with expired warranties, as they tend to charge less than the Apple Store.

Sorry, the Independent Repair Provider Program is Only for the iPhone

Apple’s fixation with the iPhone underscores their neglect of other products. The Independent Repair Provider Program is all about the iPhone. If you have a broken Macintosh, you’ll have to wait months for service, as most Apple Store locations remain closed.

This has really hit home for me, as I type this on a Lenovo all-in-one PC. My iMac’s fragile Fusion drive broke a few months ago. I called support only to find out that shipping-based service is only for the most expensive Mac Pro line. All other Macintosh models must be brought to brick and mortar Apple Stores for repair. If you’re wondering how Apple keeps its stock price so high, it’s partly innovation, a lot of stock buybacks, and a policy of occasionally shortchanging non-professional customers.

Although this policy makes some sense, as the iPhone is Apple’s most popular and compact product, it also serves to irritate Mac owners. I personally don’t care for the iPhone. I need a proper computer to get work done. For the next few months, this will be a Windows 10 PC, as Apple will not fix my broken iMac until their stores reopen, which doesn’t seem likely anytime soon.

Apple’s neglect of the Mac has been ongoing; however, it seems to care about the legendary computer once again. It looks more like Apple is gradually transforming the Mac into an iOS device by moving to ARM-based processors and implementing various strategies to run iOS apps. If that’s what it takes for Apple to care about the Mac, it’s a good thing.

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