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Apple will finally allow your iPhone to be fixed at independent stores

Apple has announced it will begin verifying third-party iPhone repair stores and furnishing them with official parts.

The company says the new repair program will give more independent businesses the same powers to fix handsets as its authorised service providers.

That means the same same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics tools. Apple says the program, which starts in the US and will expand globally thereafter, will ensure more repairs are performed to the company’s own high standards.

There scheme will cover both in-warranty and out-of-warranty iPhone repairs and it doesn’t appear any other products in the Apple portfolio are involved. The scheme is a massive boost to independent businesses out there who’ve long been ostracised by Apple, to the point that unofficial repairs often void iPhone-owners warranties.

Related: iPhone XR vs iPhone XS

Even recently, Apple has attempted to clamp down on battery replacements from unofficial parties, even if they’re using official Apple parts. Unofficial battery repairs saw iPhone users prompted to seek service for an unverified cell when consulting the Battery Health app.

Presumably, under the new verification program, battery replacements would be one of the most popular requests, especially given the wait users often experience when attempting to secure a replacement through the official channels, of which there are around 5,000 in the world.

“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 Authorised Service Provider network,” explained Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer in a press release.

“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.”

The repair store in question must have at least one Apple-certified technician on staff, Apple says. Applying for the certification is free, as is the application to join the independent repair program.

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