Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 11 next month, Apple has announced a new program that might let you keep your out-of-warranty iPhone a little longer. Instead of taking your broken iPhone to a high-priced Apple Genius or roll the dice with third-party parts, you’ll now be able to go to an independent repair shop and get the same high-quality parts that you’d get from the Apple Store.
That’s a big change. Previously, Apple kept its tools under lock and key, but under the new program, it’s promising “the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics” as an Apple Authorized Service Provider. The program is limited to out-of-warranty iPhone repairs at launch.
That means repair shops big and small will be able to take advantage of the new program without going through Apple’s rigorous certification to become an Authorized Service Provider. However, there are still limitations on who can join the new program. Most notably, businesses need to have an Apple-certified technician who can perform the repairs, which requires a passing grade on both the Apple Service Fundamentals Exam and ACiT 2019 iOS Service Certification Exam. Additionally, shops must be located in a commercially zoned area, so people won’t be able to run Apple-backed repair shops out of their garage.
Otherwise, there is no cost to join the independent repair program. While the program is limited to the U.S. at launch, Apple said it has been working with 20 independent repair businesses in Europe and Asia as well as North America over the past year as a pilot.