(This Aug 17 story fixes reversed words in title of Public Interest Research Group in paragraph 7.)
(Reuters) – Apple Inc said on Monday it had expanded a program that provides parts and training to independent repair shops to cover its Mac computers.
Apple initially launched the program last year, but it only covered iPhones, the company’s biggest-selling product. Mac users previously either had to use Apple or an authorized warranty service provider to get fixes with parts directly from Apple.
Apple last month reported an uptick of 21.6% in quarterly Mac sales to $7 billion, as many employees shifted to working from home. Its market share grew to 7.3% in the second quarter from 6.3% a year earlier, according to research firm IDC.
“When a device needs repairs, we want people to have access to a safe and reliable solution — this latest expansion joins the thousands of repair locations we’ve added over the past year,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to bringing that convenient and trustworthy repair experience to our Mac users.”
Apple’s shift in repair practices came after years of calls from right-to-repair groups who had criticized the company for, among other things, only providing genuine parts and training manuals to firms such as Best Buy Inc that were to do warranty-related work on its devices. Smaller shops argued that program was too costly to join due to volume commitments.
With the independent repair program, Apple began offering to sell parts and provide free training courses to independent shops to perform out-of-warranty work.
Nathan Proctor, head of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group right-to-repair campaign, said the addition of Mac’s program was a “welcome” step, but the agreement for independent shops reported by publication Vice https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjdjnv/apples-independent-repair-program-is-invasive-to-shops-and-their-customers-contract-shows showed “onerous” terms.
“At the end of the day, we either have a free market to fix the devices we own, or we don’t,” Proctor said in a statement.
Apple on Monday said it has updated its materials and training for the program based on feedback from independent shops and other interested parties.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Diane Craft, Paul Simao and Chris Reese)