These days, getting your MacBook repaired by Apple has been a pretty tough task. I see a line of people outside the SoHo Apple Store each day, and that matches what I've seen online, when all the upcoming days have been booked for Genius Bar appointments.
Fortunately, that might be getting a lot better soon. Apple just announced that it's expanding its Independent Repair Provider Program (which licenses third-party shops to fix Apple products) to finally fix MacBooks, and other Macs, like the iMac, Mac mini and iMac Pro. Reuters (opens in new tab) broke the news of this change, which expands the program beyond just iPhones repaired out of warranty.
Apple's gotten flak for how heavily it guards all of its products, and how difficult is to repair them. We don't think this will change iFixit's mind (it's given the MacBook Pro 16-inch extremely low repairability scores), but this could be seen as some positive movement on the Right to Repair issue.
Apple previously limited the parties it included in this program to larger companies, and this will open up parts and training to independent repair shops.
This change will hopefully help folks repair their MacBooks faster. And it comes at a perfect time, as an increase in shops that can fix MacBooks will hopefully reduce the strain on those official repair locations, such as your local Apple store.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, told Reuters (in a statement) that "When a device needs repairs, we want people to have access to a safe and reliable solution — this latest expansion joins the thousands of repair locations we’ve added over the past year."
Apple has yet to issue an official press release on this change, but we will update this story if and when one arrives.
The Independent Repair Provider Program is currently available in the U.S., Canada and Europe.