Original Apple parts for the iPhone were previously only available to authorized retailers in Germany. That should change now.

Apple is now opening access to original spare parts for the iPhone in Europe. In the future, independent workshops will also be able to use batteries, screens and other spare parts from group stocks. So far, they had to rely on a gray market and could not obtain replacement parts directly from Apple.

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The program started last September in the USA and is now being extended to all of Europe and Canada, Apple said on its website on Wednesday. Participating workshops can also obtain analysis instruments, special tools and repair instructions. However, the prerequisite is that you have an Apple-certified technician. The size of the repair shop does not matter.

In the United States, more than 140 independent repair companies are now participating in more than 700 locations. The program is only about repairs after the warranty period, in the most common cases the replacement of a broken display or the battery. Warranty cases continue to be handled by Apple itself or the network of around 5000 authorized service providers worldwide.

Collect removed components

The independent workshops will be able to use spare parts directly from Apple as well as from other manufacturers, which are often cheaper. This alleviated fears of critics that Apple wanted to oblige independent workshops to use only original parts.

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However, the independent providers must disclose to their customers whether they used an Apple spare part or a third-party part for the repair. Apple also wants to collect the removed components when they are replaced with original parts. This should ensure reuse and better recycling. Original parts should cost just as much for the independent workshops participating in the new program as for authorized service providers. The certification of technicians with a training course is free, explains Apple. Information on whether a repair shop is participating in the program can be found here.

For years, Apple had been criticized for making independent repairs difficult or impossible. The US repair service provider iFixit 2019 had determined that customers who had replaced the battery of an iPhone themselves or had it done by a workshop that was not authorized by Apple no longer displayed the battery status.

In Germany, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) recently campaigned for smartphones and tablets to be more durable. For this purpose, batteries and screens should be easier to replace, spare parts available longer and cheaper and repairs should be cheaper. Schulze wants to achieve through the EU that all manufacturers must make binding statements about the lifespan of their products.

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