Apple has had a longstanding grudge against third-party repair shops and the customers that opt to pay less to those shops than to the company itself for parts and labor. It has gone as far as refusing to work on modified devices and even crippling functionality through what’s effectively software-based punishment.
However, its attitude has slowly been changing. The latest episode was with a couple of major behind-the-scenes changes according to iGeneration.
Technicians have tipped the publication off to a new policy that, as of February 28, allowed customers to bring in an iPhone with a third-party battery or display for repair if the issue at hand is not related to those parts.
Third-party batteries can now also be repaired at standard rates, depending on model. However, if the cell needs to be replaced, customers will need to shell out extra for the part.
MacRumors‘s own reporting has affirmed that the policy change applies worldwide.
The French Democratic Confederation of Labour has come out against this reported policy change on Twitter because the workers’ liaison for Apple retail workers was not notified of it.
La direction oublie trop souvent qu’en matière de sécurité, il faut passer par les instances Françaises quand on met en place des nouvelles procédures. #explosionbatterieslithium— cfdt Pomme R (@CFDTPOMMER) March 3, 2019
Apple reportedly has pulled back on the policy for the moment.
The inherent risk of working with third-party batteries is greater for technicians as they can be more prone to short-circuiting or committing damage after being exposed.
The company may still refuse service on iPhones with other third-party parts like printed circuit boards and cameras.