Hold off on booking that Genius Bar appointment. Today, Apple launched the Independent Repair Provider Program (opens in new tab), a new initiative that stocks small businesses with Apple-genuine parts, repair training, and resources to service out-of-warranty iPhones.
In the announcement (opens in new tab), Apple said it first tested the program at 20 stores throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Now, free authorization applications are available to all independent repair shops in the United States.
Local repair centers can email IRPapplicant@apple.com with business information listed on this site (opens in new tab) to apply.
“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 Authorized Service Provider network,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
The program offers more options to customers for getting their damaged iPhones repaired with legitimate Apple parts, which were previously unavailable to independent businesses. If you took your iPhone to a local spot for a fix in the past, it’s possible the technicians there used second-hand bits and tools.
“When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right,” said Williams. “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.”
Apple said the new scheme targets common out-of-warranty repairs, which might include cracked screen or back replacements.
Today’s announcement comes less than two months after Apple’s expansion of its authorized service network into every Best Buy store in the US, tripling the number of US AASP locations (opens in new tab) compared to three years ago.