Apple expands independent repair shop program to Canada

Apple is now selling official tools, parts and repair guides to independent repair shops in Canada, marking a shift in the tech giant’s stance on product repairs.

This move will allow independent repair companies to offer the same level of service as Apple and authorized repair providers when it comes to repairs.

The company says that independent repair shops in Canada interested in participating in the program can join it for free later this week. It’s unclear what third-party companies intend to participate in the program, but large chains uBreakiFix and Mobile Klinik likely will alongside smaller repair stores.

The tech giant launched this same repair program in the United States in August 2019. Since the release of the independent repair program a little under a year ago, over 140 independent repair companies across the country with a total of 700 locations are now participating in it. This program initially launched in early 2019 though a pilot program with 20 independent repair shops.

Apple says businesses that are part of the program will have access to free training from the company as well as the same genuine parts, repair manuals, tools and diagnostics as authorized service providers and Apple Store locations. The company offers a validation tool to ensure a repair store is part of the program.

That said, businesses require an Apple-certified technician capable of performing the repairs to qualify for the program. This certification requires an online exam.

Regarding Canada specifically, Open Media, a consumer advocacy group, has been urging the Canadian government to implement ‘Right to Repair’ legislation. Liberal Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Michael Coteau also introduced a Right to Repair bill in February 2019, though the Ontario legislature voted against it.

While a positive step forward for Apple, supplying independent repair providers with genuine parts still doesn’t help Canadians looking to fix the company’s products on their own.

The independent repair program came come under fire earlier this year for forcing repair shops to agree to audits and inspections from Apple, according to a contract obtained by Vice publication Motherboard.

Along with Canada, Apple’s independent repair program is also expanding to Europe.

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