01 Sep Apple Embraces Local Walk-in Repairs Across Europe – Great News for Insured Customers!Reading Time: 4 minutes
BREAKING NEWS (02.09.2019) : Apple has launched the free IRP program for any independent repair business. Read on!
In this new digital world where people check their smartphones more than seventy times a day, a broken device is a mini crisis that demands an urgent solution. No longer do customers have the patience to wait one to two weeks for a traditional send-in repair, and this pressure is driving major overhauls in service processes by the big players in the mobile industry. Samsung used to be the only manufacturer to work with local service centers and allow certified 1-hour walk-in repairs there. This has changed, thanks to Apple’s major overhaul away from two central repair locations in Europe to also embracing partnerships with local walk-in repair centers.
What does the improvement in Apple’s repair strategy mean for the insurance and telecom industry? Simply put, a positive knock-on effect of customer satisfaction in mobile device insurance programs.
Then ‘Till Now…A Look At Apple’s Repair Timeline
Apple previously defended their central repair model for various reasons. In Europe, broken devices had to be sent into one of only two service centers, which resulted in tedious waiting times of up to two weeks. According to Apple, these central repair locations were necessary for guaranteeing quality (preventing the use of non-original spare parts) and to house the rare hardware calibration machines* essential for repairing iPhones.
Until last year, there were only two European Apple care centers.
Uncertified walk-in iPhone repair shops started popping up all over the place, promising to fix devices in just one hour. This was of course a hugely appealing alternative when compared to the slow official Apple centers that had a repair turnaround of up to a fortnight. There was nothing Apple could to stop their loyal customers from taking advantage of these fast opportunists, they simply couldn’t compete. What was worse, Apple’s biggest rival Samsung was ahead of the game; offering nationwide express walk-in repairs as a standard, in collaboration with large networks of service partners. Apple admitted defeat – things had to change.
A year or two ago, Apple took the first step and provided a selection of repair centers with a calibration machine and spare parts to enable decentralised display repairs. However, due to the limited number of available hardware calibration machines, certified Apple repair locations remained few and far between. Finally, in the 3rd quarter of 2018, Apple transformed their calibration process from hardware to software. Switzerland was one of the few countries which successfully piloted the innovation, and soon it was rolled out nationwide. A new era of service potential had finally dawned! Now, there are more than 60 certified walk-in apple repair locations in Switzerland alone, and Apple plans to launch this service Europe-wide.
In Switzerland alone there are now over 60 Apple repair partners.
HOT OFF THE PRESS: The Apple IRP Program
Just days ago (in this Apple press release on August 29th), Apple revealed a further upgrade to their repair service, the Independent Repair Provider Program. Now any qualifying independent business, not just the Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs), can apply with Apple to gain access to genuine Apple parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics. All for free!
The IRP program is launching in the US initially, but will roll out worldwide in due time. It will drive the number of Apple repair locations even higher than the 5000 AASPs that exist globally today. Once implemented in Europe, the IRP program will create a huge jump in repair businesses there, providing telcos and insurers many more local partnership options for in- and out-of-warranty Apple repairs.
The Domino Effect On Insurance and Telco
Apple’s repair revolution is fantastic news for insurance and telecom professionals, not to mention Apple customers who can now benefit from a 1 hour repair in a myriad of locations instead of waiting 1-2 weeks! Finally it is possible for telcos to offer a legitimate, local and fast repair service to their Apple clients. Moreover, repairs can be offered to clients at competitive rates, because local service partners are encouraged by Apple and receive spare parts cheaper than the central repair points, at the same price as to their AASPs. All in all, great news for everyone, it would seem. However, in practice many insurers are still tied to a single repair partner – and if these companies don’t adapt to the new model fast, they will end up falling behind.
The fast-growing insurtech company i-surance embraces these changes fully and now handles Apple repairs with multiple partners all over Europe to allow their insured customers a local walk-in repair within 1 hour. To learn from their experience and for a consultation on how to pivot into this new model quickly, get in touch with i-surance here.