Apple has launched a new program that will supply independent repair shops with tools and parts needed for out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.

Apple’s new Independent Repair Provider program will provide indie repair shops the same training, tools, manuals, diagnostics and genuine parts supplied to Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs). In a press release, the Cupertino tech company said the new program will allow indie repair shops across the U.S. to properly deal with out-of-warranty repairs with confidence.

“To better meet our customers’ needs, we’re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network,” Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams said.

Independent repair shops large and small can join Apple’s program at no cost. Apple requires, however, each repair shop to have Apple-certified technicians.

Technicians who wish to be certified by Apple will need to pass exams conducted via an online Authorized Testing Center. Certifications are made on a per product basis and are updated yearly. Certification exam fees are waived for businesses that are approved to be Independent Repair Providers.

A change in tone

Apple’s new program “represents an about-face” for the company, CNBC reported. The Cupertino tech giant previously encouraged consumers to have their iPhones repaired only via its AASPs while making it difficult for users to repair their broken devices themselves.

Apple also fought against a proposed “right-to-repair” bill that would require companies to make repair information and parts accessible to both independent repair shops and individuals.

While the new program gives indie repair companies the opportunity to get tools and parts needed for iPhone repairs, every repair made via approved repair shops isn’t covered by Apple’s warranty, an Apple spokesperson told CNBC. Independent repair shops will have to offer their own warranties. Additionally, indie repair shops will need to pay Apple for every tool and genuine part supplied.

“When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right,” Apple COO Williams said. “We believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested.”

Apple, in a policy shift, will make it easier for consumers to get repairs for iPhones at independent service shops Apple's newest iPhone trio is coming real soon. Photo: AFP / ROSLAN RAHMAN