Apple is now selling official tools, parts and repair guides to qualified independent repair shops in Canada, marking a shift in the tech giant’s stance on iPhone repairs.
This move will allow independent repair companies to offer the same level of service as Apple and authorized repair providers when it comes to most iPhone repairs.
The company says that independent repair shops in Canada interested in participating in the program can join it for free later this week. It’s unclear what third-party companies intend to take part, but large chains such as uBreakiFix and Mobile Klinik likely will alongside smaller repair stores (uBreakiFix is already part of the program in the U.S.).
The tech giant launched this same repair program in the United States in August 2019. Since the release of the independent repair program a little under a year ago, it now features over 140 independent repair companies across the with a total of 700 locations across the United States. This program initially launched in early 2019 though a pilot that featured 20 independent repair shops.
Businesses that are part of the program will have access to free training from Apple as well as the same genuine parts, repair manuals, tools and diagnostics as authorized service providers and Apple Stores. Further, iPhone tools and parts are priced the same for independent repair stores as they are for authorized Apple repair shops. Apple also offers a validation tool that allows consumers to ensure an independent repair store is part of the program.
It’s worth noting that all independent repair shops require an Apple-certified technician capable of performing the repairs to qualify for the program.
Regarding the ‘Right to a Repair’ movement in Canada specifically, Open Media, a consumer advocacy group, has been urging the Canadian government to implement legislation that forces companies to allow consumers to be able to fix products on their own. Liberal Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Michael Coteau also introduced a Right to Repair bill in February 2019, though the Ontario legislature voted against it.
While expanding its independent repair shop program to Canada is a positive step forward for Apple, this move still doesn’t help Canadians looking to fix their iPhone themselves. It’s also worth noting that as of right now, the program also only includes Apple’s iPhone and not the iPad, Mac or MacBook. That said, Canadians now have more options when it comes to out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.
Apple’s independent repair program came come under fire earlier this year for requesting repair shops agree to audits and inspections from Apple, according to a contract obtained by Vice publication Motherboard.
Along with Canada, Apple’s independent repair program is also expanding to 32 countries across Europe.