The Truth About Apples “New” Independent Repair Provider Program

While Apple’s new parts program is sure to please customers and service providers, it may not be as new as they are claiming.

The Truth About Apples “New” Independent Repair Provider Program

The Truth About Apple’s “New” Independent Repair Provider Program

Working for a small phone repair shop allowed me to have an inside look into the third-party repair industry. What I saw was honestly horrifying. High-quality parts were really hard if not impossible to come by. Often even if we had identified a great source for quality parts, they would change factories and the part quality would plummet. This often left shops constantly scrambling to find part providers who could meet their demand at a quality that would satisfy their customers. Apple is a little bold to claim the Independent Repair Provider Program is a “new” program as upon further inspection they have been doing this all along.

This isn’t to say that these part shops were unable to obtain official parts from Apple, but they had no incentive. Apple’s previous program for obtaining parts was Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP). The requirements for this program were huge and severely limited repair shops. For example, an AASP had to commit to only providing services and repairs that they had acquired certification for. This meant if I was an AASP who only had gone through the certification for repairing iPhone’s I could under no circumstances buy third party parts and offer repairs on Mac’s.

Obtaining a certification involved going through hours of tedious training and at the end, there was a $150 certification test that had to be taken at an authorized location. The closest one to me, when I was initially looking, was a 2-hour drive away. That was the cost per test as well. To be a full-service AASP you would have to go through several tests.

What the Independent Repair Provider Program Is

The Independent Repair Provider Program (IRPP) is nothing more than a slightly more streamlined version of the AASP program. For the IRPP web page, they have simply taken a copy of the AASP page and paired down some of the requirements. The AASP page has 485 words and the IRPP page has 354.

Above everything else however, it seems they have taken away many of the barriers preventing companies from taking the time to go through the process. I was unable to find a mention about limitations regarding what other repairs a store can make. In addition, the cost for their certification tests has dropped down to $15 per test.

Removing these barriers gives shops easier access to Apple’s high-quality parts which ultimately benefits everyone involved. For Apple, they will be selling more parts for devices that they will not service in their stores. Repair shops are getting better parts meaning they won’t be losing money paying for low-quality parts that have a high failure rate.

My only critique for Apple is how they went about telling everyone. Instead of saying they have created another tier to their AASP program, which is what this is as it shares much of the same criteria, they have said the following:

Apple today announced a new repair program, offering customers additional options for the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs. Apple will provide more independent repair businesses — large or small — with the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics as its Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs).

This seems to imply the program is very different from the AASP program when they are just fraternal twins. Let me know what you think about Apples “new” program in the comments below and feel free to leave a clap if you enjoyed this read.