Original Apple parts for the iPhone were previously only available to a few authorized service partners in Europe. Now small workshops should be able to get them here.
Apple is now opening access to original spare parts for the iPhone in Europe. In the future, independent workshops will also be able to use batteries, screens and other spare parts from group stocks. So far, they had to rely on a gray market and could not obtain replacement parts directly from Apple.
The program started in the US last September and is now being expanded to cover all of Europe and Canada, Apple said on Wednesday. The participating workshops can also get analysis instruments, special tools and repair instructions. The prerequisite is that you have an Apple-certified technician – the size of the repair shop does not matter. In the United States, over 140 independent repair companies are now participating in more than 700 new US locations.
The program is only about repairs after the warranty period. In the most common cases, this is the replacement of a broken display or the battery. Warranty cases continue to be handled by Apple itself or the network of around 5,000 authorized service providers worldwide.
The independent workshops will in future be able to use spare parts directly from Apple as well as from other manufacturers, which are often cheaper. This alleviated fears from critics that Apple wanted to oblige independent workshops to use only original parts. However, the independent providers must disclose to their customers whether they used an Apple spare part or a third-party part for the repair.
Apple also wants to collect the removed components when they are replaced with original parts. This is to ensure reuse or better recycling. At the same time, this measure also dries up the gray market with spare parts.
Original parts should cost just as much for the independent workshops participating in the new program as for authorized service providers. The certification of technicians with a training course is free, Apple emphasizes.
The announcement of the group falls into a political environment in Europe, in which the ecological consequences of digitization are increasingly discussed. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) recently campaigned for smartphones and tablets to be more durable.
For this purpose, batteries and screens should be easier to replace, spare parts should be available longer and cheaper, and repairs should be cheaper. Schulze wants to achieve through the EU that all manufacturers have to make binding statements about the lifespan of their products and that customers have a “right to repair”.
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