Through a program that could ease the burden of Apple as well as authorized partners to fix broken charging ports and cracked screens, the tech company plans to start selling tools, parts and repair guides to independent stores to repair iPhones. The program is said to roll out in the United States before it comes to other countries, Reuters reported.
Creative Strategies Analyst Ben Bajarin said the move could make additional opportunities for Apple to sell accessories or services in the event that it encourages iPhone owners to give their devices to family and friends.
“That helps them get the product more affordably into the hands of more customers and increases the base,” Bajarin said. “Every data point seems to say, if you get someone into the Apple ecosystem, they generally don’t leave.”
Independent stores have complained for a long time that the large purchase volumes needed to become a provider for authorized service made it too expensive to be in the repair market. Earlier in 2019, though, Apple allowed Best Buy stores in the U.S. to take care of warranty work.
An unofficial repair industry emerged, however, primarily tapping into third-party aftermarket parts. Apple reportedly said it tested the new repair offering with 20 businesses spread through North America, Asia and Europe for a year. The company did not offer a timetable for international rollouts, the report noted.
In separate news, there are reportedly signs that Apple might be set to reveal its newest iPhone next month. According to earlier reports, Apple released its newest iOS 13 beta to developers in mid-August, and it included a “HoldForRelease” asset that displayed a home screen of an iPhone with the date set to Sept. 10 – around the time the firm typically has its fall press event.
The iPhone 11 is not expected to be that different from previous models. In fact, Barclays semiconductor analysts predicted in May that Apple’s 2019 iPhones will offer “relatively few design changes,” with JPMorgan Chase analysts agreeing that major updates would happen next year.