It looks like Apple has embraced the basics of common sense repair. For the first time, Apple is offering something it calls a Service Technical Support Program to anyone whose iPhone has been repaired by an authorized service provider. As the name suggests, it offers repairs up to two years after the handset was initially purchased from an authorised Apple service provider. In some cases, Apple will also allow you to get a new battery – provided it has been malfunctioning for two years.
Smartphone repair is often complicated, often thanks to the poor state of the materials. Apple says it has no plans to provide replacement parts or provide diagnostic tools, but as repair services increase, technical support could become increasingly important.
“We know that our customers want Apple to be a part of their life in more ways than ever before, and they want a solution for when Apple products break,” says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
Before this program launch, iPhone owners who had had a replacement part for a defective iPhone had to take the handset to an Apple Store (or to a service provider that worked for Apple) and take possession of the new phone. Apple only provided “one time fixes”. In this case, new batteries are seen as a replacement part and don’t fit into this scheme.
If your iPhone is in working order, the change comes as good news. It would also be disappointing if your new batteries were leaking and degrading, though with an official program now in place, you might be able to replace those batteries free of charge.
If you aren’t an iPhone owner and/or only own an older device, you can still benefit from Apple’s program. It’s generally good news for people with a device that has had its battery replaced or that has a known mechanical defect.
“The primary goal of the Repair Support Program is to reduce repair costs and to reduce exposure to damage for customers in cases where their iPhone was previously repaired at an Apple authorized service provider,” Apple says.