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Apple today announced that it has expanded its Independent Repair Provider Program to include Mac computers, as reported by Reuters. The program, launched in the U.S. last year, was previously limited to out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.

ifixit-2018-mbp.jpeg
Image: iFixit

Apple's website has more details about the program, but it has yet to be updated to reflect the inclusion of Mac repairs. For the iPhone, the program provides participating repair shops with access to the same Apple genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals, and diagnostics as Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers.

For the iPhone, repair shops need to have an Apple-certified technician who can perform the repairs to qualify for the program.

Last month, Apple announced that it was expanding the program to Canada and Europe.

Article Link: Apple Expanding Independent Repair Provider Program to Macs
 
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calzon65

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
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I wonder if this move is simply to appease the attacks Apple is now enduring from politicians accusing them of unfair competition.

Apple's culture when it comes to allowing others to repair their products has been pathetic. They need to open up in this area, especially with the IOS products.
 
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Blackstick

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Aug 11, 2014
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Sunny South Florida
I was a Mac Genius for 7 years, some products are an absolute pain in the ass to repair (anyone who has done a DC-Power-SATA cable replacement on a Mid 2007 iMac knows exactly what I mean).

Back in those days, new technicians spent 4 awesome weeks in Cupertino learning the in's and out's of every product Apple makes. We saw Steve Jobs several times at Caffe Macs, then a small group of us had dinner at Outback Steakhouse with Woz - who ordered steaks to go... for his little dogs.

PDFs and videos will never compare to the awesome that were Genius training classes... which are no longer a thing.
 
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NMBob

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2007
1,391
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New Mexico
What does your head smell like after you pull it out of you-know-where? I don't know why they ever went down these non-open roads.
 
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shamino

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Jan 7, 2004
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If it's like the existing program, it's meaningless.

As many in the repair business have documented, the existing program prohibits you from any repair more complicated than swapping major components (display, battery, motherboard), doesn't allow shops to keep parts in stock (so customers need to wait a week for every repair job) and charges insane prices for the privilege. In other words, offering customers absolutely no advantage over mailing their device to Apple.

I think it is safe to assume that any Mac-repair program is going to be similarly useless. If anyone wants to claim otherwise, well, I'll believe it when I see it. And not a minute before.

The big advantage of a (competent) independent repair shop is that they can do the kind of repairs that Apple refuses to do. Like replacing a 5 cent capacitor or a $4 power management chip (charging an hour's labor) instead of swapping a $400 motherboard (losing all of the customer's data in the process). If Apple is serious about helping repair shops, then let's see a program where authorized shops can order chips and connectors that are only sold to Apple's factories and can't (legally) be purchased elsewhere.
 
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Blackstick

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2014
768
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Sunny South Florida
The big advantage of a (competent) independent repair shop is that they can do the kind of repairs that Apple refuses to do. Like replacing a 5 cent capacitor or a $4 power management chip (charging an hour's labor) instead of swapping a $400 motherboard (losing all of the customer's data in the process).

Apple never even allowed the indies to do component-level repairs, ever... we're a self-servicing account, and if you read the 200 pages of legalese on GSX... they're not ok with people soldering a new capacitor onto a board ever. Doesn't mean it's not a cheap, effective way to fix a failed component, but that's never been Apple's way - they prefer to let their refurbisher in China do that.
 
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shamino

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Jan 7, 2004
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Apple never even allowed the indies to do component-level repairs, ever... we're a self-servicing account, and if you read the 200 pages of legalese on GSX... they're not ok with people soldering a new capacitor onto a board ever. Doesn't mean it's not a cheap, effective way to fix a failed component, but that's never been Apple's way - they prefer to let their refurbisher in China do that.
You just made my point. Apple's repair program is completely useless to all of the well-established shops that are already providing board-level repair services to customers. If I can get my Mac fixed at an independent shop in a day or two for $100, why would I want to use an "authorized" shop that will charge me $500, take a week, and destroy all my data?

Apple is only doing this because they think they can con lawmakers into thinking that their program is somehow meaningful to consumers. It's not. It's just a PR stunt that changes nothing.
 
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XXPP

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2019
223
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Apple never even allowed the indies to do component-level repairs, ever... we're a self-servicing account, and if you read the 200 pages of legalese on GSX... they're not ok with people soldering a new capacitor onto a board ever. Doesn't mean it's not a cheap, effective way to fix a failed component, but that's never been Apple's way - they prefer to let their refurbisher in China do that.
like EVERY other manufacturers.
 
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G4DPII

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2015
365
518
You just made my point. Apple's repair program is completely useless to all of the well-established shops that are already providing board-level repair services to customers. If I can get my Mac fixed at an independent shop in a day or two for $100, why would I want to use an "authorized" shop that will charge me $500, take a week, and destroy all my data?

Which part of the "Back up all data" do you not understand. That is made perfectly clear before you send anything in. So if you lose data due to something needing a repair. Then tough luck that's on you.
 
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Craptastic

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2020
65
135
You just made my point. Apple's repair program is completely useless to all of the well-established shops that are already providing board-level repair services to customers. If I can get my Mac fixed at an independent shop in a day or two for $100, why would I want to use an "authorized" shop that will charge me $500, take a week, and destroy all my data?

Apple is only doing this because they think they can con lawmakers into thinking that their program is somehow meaningful to consumers. It's not. It's just a PR stunt that changes nothing.
You should be backing up your data anyway.
Apple makes you agree to a data waiver before they can even begin the appointment.
 
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Craptastic

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2020
65
135
Most Apple repairs are sent to a great offsite facility known as “Depot” Your computer is repaired and mailed directly to you in 5-7 days.
 
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mikethemartian

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2017
615
891
Melbourne, FL
You just made my point. Apple's repair program is completely useless to all of the well-established shops that are already providing board-level repair services to customers. If I can get my Mac fixed at an independent shop in a day or two for $100, why would I want to use an "authorized" shop that will charge me $500, take a week, and destroy all my data?

Apple is only doing this because they think they can con lawmakers into thinking that their program is somehow meaningful to consumers. It's not. It's just a PR stunt that changes nothing.
I doubt most consumer brands would officially support component level repairs of a PCB. But a few years ago I found the schematic and PCB component placement files for my old 2008 MBP so that info is out there.
 
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edgonzalez32

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2011
617
1,099
I wonder if this move is simply to appease the attacks Apple is now enduring from politicians accusing them of unfair competition.

Apple's culture when it comes to allowing others to repair their products has been pathetic. They need to open up in this area, especially with the IOS products.
Exactly what I was thinking.
 
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willyx

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2014
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I do not see the difference between this program and the Apple authorized repair stores that already existed before it.
 
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shamino

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Jan 7, 2004
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Which part of the "Back up all data" do you not understand. That is made perfectly clear before you send anything in. So if you lose data due to something needing a repair. Then tough luck that's on you.
When you spill soda on your laptop so it won't turn on anymore, good luck making a backup.

Once upon a time, you could just move the SSD to a replacement board, but Apple decided to solder down the chips so now board replacements have to destroy customer data. And the repair program doesn't allow the shop to do anything other than replace the board, so there's no possible way for an authorized shop to preserve data.

Meanwhile, the unauthorized shops can just replace a few blown chips, clean the corrosion off the board and return the computer fully functional, for less money and in less time.

I doubt most consumer brands would officially support component level repairs of a PCB. But a few years ago I found the schematic and PCB component placement files for my old 2008 MBP so that info is out there.
Yes. These documents are available and independent repair shops use them all the time. Apple will say that possession of them is illegal and will sue people who redistribute them. That's not helping independent repair. Its actively punishing any shop that wants to do more than act as a proxy for Apple's mail-in service.

If Apple is serious about supporting independent repair shops, then they should be making these schematics and board-view documents available. If they are worried about copyright and industrial espionage, they can distribute them under an NDA, signed as a term of joining the program.

But Apple is not serious. They are scared that the growing right-to-repair movement is going to end up creating laws that will force Apple to make documentation and parts available under reasonable terms. They don't want that to happen so they're creating programs like this, that don't actually do anything, but seem to look nice to someone who doesn't actually do repairs (like politicians).
 
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1144557

Cancelled
Sep 13, 2018
925
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There is no authorized service which repair main board. Not only Apple.

I was going to say, I dont think there is ANY such option for an independent repair shop to board-level component repair my XPS 13 under any official Dell authorized program.

People seem to imply Apple is the only one who doesnt sanction this.
 
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Craptastic

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2020
65
135
When you spill soda on your laptop so it won't turn on anymore, good luck making a backup.

Once upon a time, you could just move the SSD to a replacement board, but Apple decided to solder down the chips so now board replacements have to destroy customer data. And the repair program doesn't allow the shop to do anything other than replace the board, so there's no possible way for an authorized shop to preserve data.
If I spilled soda on my laptop today, I know it backed up last night. Or a lot of my files/documents are synced to the cloud.
The lack of data preservation is implemented for user safety and privacy. It’s specifically stated in the Data Waiver and in the terms and conditions that you need to agree to before any repair. Apple is very clear about not doing any data recovery on your personal data. It’s all about privacy.
 
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gavroche

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2007
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You just made my point. Apple's repair program is completely useless to all of the well-established shops that are already providing board-level repair services to customers. If I can get my Mac fixed at an independent shop in a day or two for $100, why would I want to use an "authorized" shop that will charge me $500, take a week, and destroy all my data?

Apple is only doing this because they think they can con lawmakers into thinking that their program is somehow meaningful to consumers. It's not. It's just a PR stunt that changes nothing.

Wow this opinion is so uninformed about how the entire electronics industry works. I don't even know where to begin. While I'm old enough to remember people bringing TVs, and stereos, and other electronics in for repair... those days are for the most part long gone. It makes no financial sense. Overall, it's far cheaper to replace than repair many components. You think you can boil it down to an overly simple example of a repair "needing a five cent capacitor and an hour of labor." but it's not that simple. Every repair shop isn't going to be able to train technicians to learn to make those repairs. And if you have a tech in a given shop that is trained, you still don't know how long an average problem will take to diagnose. And you don't know, once a problem is located, if that is the only problem. Often, component failures can either cause other problem, or be a result of some other underlying issue. And a tech, while performing a repair, might accidentally damage another component. The shop is then on the hook for that issue as well. They face a lot of risks, and you think they are going to all that for a hundred bucks on average (and average repair cost is what is important there). Hell... even when I was in the Navy in an avionics shop.... we were termed 'intermediate' level... and any on-board repairs were sent off-ship to an o-level facility (despite having a number of trained techs who have already received far more training in an A school than any of these repair techs would ever receive). Same exact issues. That sure as heck wasn't no 'publicity stunt' as you kids these days want to throw outwhenever you can. But these things all come down to the basics, and what makes overall better financial sense.

edit: and you aren't recognizing the entire time component of repair. A swap of a larger component can often be done right away. Many people aren't going to be willing to wait days or weeks for a repair versus same day repair consisting of a swap.
 
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shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
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Purcellville, VA
I was going to say, I dont think there is ANY such option for an independent repair shop to board-level component repair my XPS 13 under any official Dell authorized program.

People seem to imply Apple is the only one who doesnt sanction this.
You're right about that, but Dell doesn't (for example) make special deals with chipmakers to use custom versions of off-the-shelf parts solely for the purpose of making it impossible for repair shops to buy replacements. Apple has done this many times.

Louis Rossmann's videos are full of examples where Apple used to use a generic chip (e.g. for regulating the power coming in off the USB port) and replaced it with a different chip that is identical except for the position of the pins. And the new version can't be purchased by anyone other than Apple.

Good luck trying to claim that this was done for any purpose other than to make life difficult for independent repair shops.
If I spilled soda on my laptop today, I know it backed up last night. Or a lot of my files/documents are synced to the cloud.
The lack of data preservation is implemented for user safety and privacy. It’s specifically stated in the Data Waiver and in the terms and conditions that you need to agree to before any repair. Apple is very clear about not doing any data recovery on your personal data. It’s all about privacy.
There's a difference between a disclaimer saying "we can't guarantee your data" and creating a repair policy that obligates repair shops to destroy your data (by making storage non-removable and not allowing any "repair" other than swapping the entire board).
 
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shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
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Purcellville, VA
Wow this opinion is so uninformed about how the entire electronics industry works....
So all those repair shops that actually do what you claim to be impossible are just lying and cheating?

Who is uninformed?

Nobody is saying that Apple needs to do this, but they don't have to spend millions of dollars on designs and policies for the express purpose of making it extra-difficult for anybody else do perform a repair.
 
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