Apple sanctions phone repair shops for iPhone fixes

A worker refurbishes an IPhone at a workshop in Lusignac, France.
A worker refurbishes an IPhone at a workshop in Lusignac, France.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AP) - There may soon be more places to get an Apple-sanctioned fix for a cracked iPhone screen.

Apple said Thursday (Aug 29) that it will sell tools and parts to independent phone-repair shops in the US and later in other countries. Repairs at these shops, though, will be limited to products already out of warranty.

Customers with in-warranty repairs will still need to visit an Apple store or one of more than 5,000 authorised service providers worldwide, including all Best Buy stores in the United States.

Though many unofficial repair shops have been offering basic fixes such as screen replacements, they are not necessarily using Apple parts or qualified technicians, leading to variations in quality.

Now, these shops will be able to buy parts directly from Apple, as long as they have an Apple-certified technician to make those repairs.

With iPhone sales on the wane and people hanging on to their phones longer, Apple is trying to ramp up its services business, with offerings such as music subscriptions. It plans to launch a video streaming service this year.