Apple is beginning tests of a new iPhone repair program and will give three partners access to the calibration machine the company has used at its own stores to make fixing the gadgets faster and cheaper.
Word of the program came via a press release today from ComputerCare, a third-party hardware repair company. ComputerCare said it has been chosen by Apple to be one of three independent providers to participate in the trial.
With Apple’s new calibration machine, ComputerCare said it would “drastically speed up repair times for customers, while providing them with an officially recognized alternative to the Apple Store for hardware problem diagnosis and repair.”
The press release did not mention the names of the two other companies selected for the program, and Apple has not yet responded to an email from VentureBeat.
“ComputerCare was chosen for this pilot program because of our performance and track record of exceptional customer service,” said Georgia Rittenberg, president of ComputerCare, in a statement. “We already manage iPhone repairs at our facilities, but because of the devices’ specialized security features, the current process requires them to be shipped to Apple for final testing and calibration before being returned to customers. Having a calibration machine onsite helps us to remove that extra step in the process and dramatically reduces turnaround times. We are thrilled to be partnering with Apple in this pilot program, and expect it to result in a huge improvement in customer satisfaction.”
Currently, users can get such services at any Apple Store. But the pilot program has the potential to dramatically expand the locations and times available to someone getting their iPhone repaired, while ensuring the repairs are covered under the warranty and will not void it.
Through the pilot program, a ComputerCare technician will repair the iPhone and then put it in Apple’s propriety calibration machine to make sure that features like 3D touch and multi-touch are still in line with the company’s specifications. ComputerCare said this will dramatically cut down on “post-repair failures due to possible multi-touch issues.”
The process only works with iPhones starting from the 6s.