Apple says it will now sell official parts, tools and repair guides to independent repair shops in the United States.
This marks a significant change for the tech giant following years of repair-related lobbying in the U.S. and Canada.
Regarding Canada specifically, Open Media, a consumer advocacy group, has been urging the Canadian government to implement ‘Right to Repair’ legislation.
Liberal Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Michael Coteau, also introduced a Right to Repair bill in February, though the Ontario legislature voted against it.
Apple says its new independent repair program should help ease the repair demand on the company’s authorized partners. The program is launching in the U.S. before being rolled out to other regions, likely including Canada. While the program is making its way to the U.S. first, Apple did test it with 20 independent repair businesses around the world, including one located in Canada.
Independent repair shops will now be able to offer official Apple device parts for out-of-warranty repairs at the same price as authorized service providers. This also means Apple users have far more options when it comes to out-of-warranty repairs with official parts.
To become an authorized service provider repair shops previously had to pay Apple to be part of the program and could only perform specific repairs, according to Motherboard. Now, any repair shop can buy official parts, tools and manuals. Further, Apple’s technician repair training courses are free.
While a step in the right direction, this fundamental shift regarding how Apple views unauthorized repair shops doesn’t help those who want to fix devices on their own, the entire point of the Right to Repair initiative. Further, unauthorized repair shops can only perform “the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs,” according to Apple. The shops are still on their own when it comes to more complicated repairs and won’t be able to forward customers for help from Apple.
MobileSyrup has reached out to Apple regarding if the new program will be expanded to Canada.