Apple is expanding a programme which allows independent businesses to register to perform approved iPhone repair jobs into Europe and Canada.
The company has been criticised in the past for making its devices difficult or expensive to repair through official channels or for third parties to gain access to genuine parts. This has increased demand for third party components and repairs which can affect device functionality.
Access to repairs has become an increasingly important consideration for customers who are holding now onto their devices for longer. This is partly because of the high cost of new devices but also because of the lack of a compelling reason to upgrade.
There is also the question of sustainability. Discarded devices may not be recycled properly, contributing to a growing e-waste problem and increasing demand for rare metals that are required for the manufacturing of new handsets.
In a bid to remedy the situation, Apple introduced the Apple Independent Repair Provider Program last Autumn in the US. The programme allows businesses to register as an official repair service and gain access to official parts. There is no sign-up fee although applicants must have an Apple-approved technician.
The initiative has been popular, with Apple securing 140 independent repair companies as partners and adding more than 700 locations across the US. Now the programme is being extended to 32 nations in Europe and across the border into Canada.
“We are thrilled to expand our independent repair program to more locations across the US and to businesses across Europe and Canada,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
“When a customer needs a repair, we want them to have a range of options that not only suits their needs but also guarantees safety and quality so their iPhone can be used for as long as possible.”