Getting your iPhone repaired by Apple or an authorized provider can be costly, and depending on where you are, a big hassle, so going with a third-party repair is often appealing. But until now there were downsides to doing this.
It doesn’t cost anything to join the program, whereas previously third-party repair businesses had to pay to access parts from Apple. So while businesses still have to apply (and have an Apple-certified technician on staff), we’ll likely start seeing a lot more repair options that Apple approves of.
That’s good news, because as well as meaning customers will have more choice of where to get their iPhone repaired, and potentially lower prices to do so, they can also be more confident that they’re getting genuine parts and won’t get locked out of software features.
There are a couple of caveats. Firstly, the independent repair program is initially only available in the US, but Apple claims to be planning to expand it to other countries.
Secondly, the program only applies to “the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.” So while the likes of replacement batteries should be manageable, more significant repairs could still see you having to head to Apple itself. Still, this sounds like a step in the right direction.