Apple Gives In On Third-Party Repairs
Australian repairers will be able to access genuine Apple resources as the tech giant brings its Independent Repair Provider program to the country, in a road-to-Damascus moment for the manufacturer which previously voided warranties for customers seeking third-party fixes.
The program, which was first launched in 2019 and last year expanded to Canada and Europe, gives authorised repairers access to authentic Apple parts, tools, manuals, and diagnostics. Australia and New Zealand are among the countries next to receive the program, starting later this week.
While it is free to sign on, repairers looking to participate in the program need to commit to using an Apple-certified technician to perform the repairs.
“The process for certification is simple and free of charge. Qualifying repair providers can purchase genuine Apple parts and tools at the same price as AASPs [Apple Authorised Service Providers] and receive free access to training, repair manuals, and diagnostics,” the manufacturer says.
The move is a turnaround for Apple, which was slapped with a $9 million AUD fine by the ACCC in 2018 for breaching Australian Consumer Law by telling customers taking its phones to third-party repairers would void the warranty.
The Productivity Commission last year launched an enquiry into “right-to-repair” laws, which would enshrine the right of Australian consumers to repair and modify their own devices.
“In recent years, concerns have been raised around the world that repairs of consumer products are becoming more difficult (sometimes impossible), and that this is resulting in costly and wasteful outcomes for both consumers and broader society,” the Commission said in its issues paper.
Apple will roll out the IRP program to more countries later this year.