Since its inception Apple has kept its repairs limited to its own tech geniuses with limited or full out restrictions of repair parts sold to independent repair companies. This has recently changed with Apple announcing a small group of repair specialists authorized to work on iPhones. This does not come cheap though. Apple describes two types of service providers on their website. Authorized Service Providers and Limited Service Provideers. Authorized Service Providers refers to companies which are Authorized to provide repair services to all Apple customers. Limited Service Providers, companies and organizations which operate under limited service agreements which allow service for specific customers or specific Apple products as defined in the Limited Service Provider agreement.
In an attempt to continue capitalising on repairs, Apple forces interested repairs specialists to pay a fee in return for this “authorized” status, which gets them exclusive access to Apple training and guidebooks and the ability to buy parts directly from Apple. But authorized repair shops are only “authorized” to do a select few repairs; if a customer comes in with other easily fixable problems, the repair shop must ship the phone to Apple. Apple benefits of its Service Providers status include :
- Reimbursement for labour, parts and (where applicable) travel for repairs covered by Apple Limited Warranty or extended service agreement
- Only Authorized Service Providers are able to obtain parts directly from Apple in order to complete repairs
- Participation in the Service Excellence performance-based bonus compensation program (where applicable)
- Access to comprehensive product, repair, service, take-apart, troubleshooting, and upgrade information, plus on-the-spot technical support available for certified technicians
- Inclusion in Apple’s resource locator system, which enables customers to find their nearest Service Provider via the Apple website (excludes Limited Service Providers)
- For more detailed information on the benefits of becoming a Service Provider, please contact your regional AppleCare team.
Apples plans to keep tabs on all Apple repairs are however becoming increasingly under attack. Apple is currently faced with lawsuits in 8 US states to enforce consumers “right to repair” their own consumer electronics. A win would mean Apple would have to make repair parts available to all repair specialists and not only “Authorized Repairs Specialists”. Apple is contesting this right with the concern for repaired devices becoming more susceptible to hackers.
Apple also recently lost a lawsuit against an independent repair company in Norway. Apple sued Henrik Huseby of infringing on Apple’s trademarks by using non-genuine aftermarket repair parts. Apple started out by sending Huseby a letter demanding that he stopped using aftermarket repair parts for Apple Repairs. They also demanded that Huseby pay Apple a settlement
Huseby decided to fight back and won against Apples 5 lawyers.