Apple is bringing its Independent Repair Provider (IRP) program, that offers access to genuine parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for out-of-warranty repairs, to New Zealand.
The program first launched in 2019 in the US and Europe and Canada last year, with over 1,500 Independent Repair Provider locations serving customers across the US, Canada, and Europe.
The announcement will benefit Kiwis (more than other territories) as Apple doesn’t have a dedicated Apple Store, where customers can receive help fixing a broken device, anywhere in New Zealand.
Previously, Kiwis were limited in how they could repair their Apple devices. The process (based on personal experience) involved filling out a web form at support.apple.com/repair, scheduling a call with an Apple employee, and then travelling to a local Apple Authorised Service Provider (AASPs).
Joining the IRP program is free for retailers
Joining Apple’s Independent Repair Provider program is free for retailers, as is training and certification – the only cost to will be the commitment to employing an Apple-certified technician to perform the repairs.
Apple says: “All participating repair providers in the program have access to free training from Apple and the same genuine parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics as Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs) and Apple Store locations.”
Retailers that are interested in can learn more and apply to become an Independent Repair Provider at support.apple.com/irp-program.
IRPs vs AASPs: What’s the difference
An Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs) will only use genuine Apple parts, tools, and repair techniques. IRPs will offer customers the same service, but can also offer repair using third-party parts, tools, and repair techniques. However, Apple requires its IRPs to disclose to customers when it is/isn’t using genuine Apple parts and tools etc.
Note: Apple’s IRP program will only support repairs for iPhone and MacBooks.
How much will it cost?
This is for the Independent Repair Providers to decide. However, it’s likely that IRDs will want to be competitive with AASPs as they will have access to the same discounts on Apple parts, tools and training. To give you an idea of what this looks like: AASPs currently charge NZ$499 to repair and cracked iPhone 12 screen.
When will NZ get its first IRP?
The training is expected to take local retailers eight weeks. Apple also confirmed that the independent retailers can decide on how many different repair services they want to learn/offer. Creating the possibility for retailers to only offer iPhone 12 screen repairs, and not iPhone 12 battery replacements, for example.
What will a IRP in NZ look like?
This is a guessing game right now. However, it’s safe to assume that the existing repair shops found in shopping malls and high streets are the sorts of independent retailers that Apple is hoping to attract.