Apple expands independent repair provider program globally

Under the expanded program, independent repair providers will have access to genuine Apple parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for out-of-warranty repairs.

Apple has announced its independent repair provide program will shortly be expanded to more than 200 countries, which would be nearly every country where Apple products are sold.

Under the program, all participating independent repair providers will have access to free training from Apple, as well as the same genuine Apple parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for out-of-warranty repairs for Apple products at the same price as Apple authorised service providers (AASPs) and Apple store locations.

While there is no cost to join the program, Apple said to qualify, repair providers "need to commit to have an Apple-certified technician to perform the repairs".

The program was launched originally in 2019 in the US before it was expanded to Europe and Canada last year. There are now more than 1,500 independent repair provider locations across those three countries, according to Apple.

Later this week, the program will initially be expanded to the following countries and regions: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

The program will then be launched later this year in these countries and regions: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswan, British Virgin Islands, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sint Maarten, Somalia, South Sudan, Spanish Virgin Islands, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Wallis, Futuna, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Cupertino giant has been criticised in the past for actively locking out independent repairers and only enable repairs to be made by AASPs.

Earlier this month, new rules were introduced to allow certain electrical goods sold across Europe to be repairable for up to 10 years. These included all new washing machines, hairdryers, refrigerators, and displays -- including televisions.

It puts European countries a step closer to introducing a universal "right to repair" on consumer electronic goods, which would help cut e-waste and encourage manufacturers to make durability and repairability a key part of product design.

The next step for the proposed right to repair legislation -- which was voted for by the European Parliament in November last year -- aims to have similar requirements expanded to cover smartphones, laptops, and other consumer electronics, which currently make up a significant proportion of Europe's electronic waste.

In Australia, the Productivity Commission has been requested by the Australian government to examine the state of consumer's ability to repair faulty goods at reasonable prices.

The need for the inquiry was cited due to the Competition and Consumer Act not capturing right to repair issues, and thereby only allowing "limited rights or protections" to repair, the inquiry's terms of reference state.  

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