Apple just made it a lot easier and cheaper to fix a broken iPhone

The sight of a broken iPhone should no longer be as depressing as it once was (Image: Reuters)

Apple has announced a major repair policy change which should make it cheaper and simpler to fix a broken iPhone.

Until today, you had to rely on Apple or companies it named as ‘authorised service providers’ for iPhone repairs.

But today Apple announced that it will begin selling parts, tools and repair guides to independent shops so they can fix broken iPhones.

This a big u-turn for Apple which has spent years lobbying against the introduction of ‘right-to-repair’ laws in some US states.

Apple said the scheme should help ease heavy demand on Apple and partners companies to fix millions of cracked screens and fried charging ports.

The policy change could also lead to a mini-boom for repair shops who could find they are able to offer the same repair services as Apple but at a much cheaper price for customers.

It will launch in the United States before being rolled out to other countries.

Apple has had maintained a tight grip on iPhone repairs until now (Image: Reuters)

Independent repair shops will be offered official parts for out-of-warranty repairs at the same price offered to authorized service providers, such as Best Buy Inc, which perform warranty work.

Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, said the move could create more opportunities for Apple to sell services or accessories if it encourages iPhone owners to hand down used phones to friends and family.

‘That helps them get the product more affordably into the hands of more customers and increases the base,’ Bajarin said.

‘Every data point seems to say, if you get someone into the Apple ecosystem, they generally don’t leave.’

Apple’s iPhone sales have declined in the past two fiscal quarters, but sales of accessories such as its AirPods wireless headphones and the Apple Watch, along with paid services like Apple Music, have helped make up for some of the revenue falls.

Independent shops have long complained that the high purchase volumes required by Apple to become an authorized service provider priced them out of the repair market.

The tech giant had previously lobbied against right-to-repair bills which would have compelled it to supply independent businesses in several US states including New York and California.

It cited concerns about maintaining a high service standard. However, earlier this year Apple allowed all US Best Buy stores to handle work carried out under warranty.

Apple said it trialled the new repair program for a year with 20 businesses across North America, Europe and Asia. It did not give a timetable for the international launches.

The new policy will allow independent stores to set their own prices for repairs and also offer cheaper aftermarket parts.

They will be required to return any collected broken Apple parts to the company for refurbishment or recycling.

The program will be free for shops to join, but they will be required to have an Apple-certified technician who has taken a free 40-hour training course and test provided by the company.


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