Apple announced a new scheme that will allow independent repair shops to offer official servicing of iPhones that are out of warranty. The new Independent Repair Provider Program gives small repair businesses access to the same Apple-genuine parts, training, and resources as Apple authorized service providers.
The company said it trialed the initiative at 20 stores across North America, Europe, and Asia. It is today launching the program for the United States and will announce further regions in the future.
Apple says the program targets the most common out-of-warranty repairs. This presumably includes repairs such as cracked screen replacements or back glass replacements.
Previously to this announcement, Apple has mostly left independent repair businesses out in the cold. Enterprising businesses have instead resorted to buying Apple device parts from the grey market to conduct unofficial repairs.
Interested independent businesses can apply for free. To qualify, the business will need to train its employees to become Apple-certified technicians. Again, Apple will offer this online training for free. If a company accepted into the program, it will have access to Apple parts and tooling at the same cost as Apple authorized resellers.