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If you’ve ever taken anything in to Apple for repair you’ll note that the process is surprisingly pleasant (when you’re under warranty) and quick. But what if you’re not close to an Apple store? The process sucks.

That’s why Apple is now working to build out a “a new repair program, offering customers additional options for the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.” This means the guy down the street in the bodega with a heat gun and some iPhone screens won’t have to be repairing on the sly anymore.

The program will supply independent repair people “with the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics as its Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs).” From the release:

?To better meet our customers? needs, we?re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network,? said Jeff Williams, Apple?s chief operating officer. ?When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right. We believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested.?

But, as many note, this program is only for a selected few repairers and all need a “Apple-certified technician” to repair Apple products. This is similar to the model used by watch companies in allowing only registered technicians open the back of certain watches.

That said this program will definitely slow down grey market part sales and repairs and could open doors for small businesses globally. That said, who knows how they’ll maintain quality over time and it would be great to have the ability to DIY a few of these repairs, something that is traditionally hard to impossible for Apple products. Time will tell.


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By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.