The INSIDER Summary:
- Apple plans to put its proprietary screen repair machines in about 400 repair centers around the world by the end of this year.
- The first few are already in Best Buy stores in Miami and the San Francisco Bay Area.
- The company’s “Horizon Machines” are the only ones that can fix certain issues, like a damaged fingerprint scanner.
If you have a cracked iPhone screen, here’s some good news. Later this year, you may be able to walk into a Best Buy near you and get the exact service you would at an Apple store.
As first reported by Reuters on Wednesday, Apple plans to put its proprietary screen repair machines in “about 400 authorized third-party repair centers in 25 countries” by the end of 2017.
The company started testing these machines a year ago: There are currently a few in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in Miami; two more are coming to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Sunnyvale, California.
Of course, you can just go to any third-party repair shop like uBreakiFix, but keep in mind you risk voiding your warranty if the technician damages your iPhone in any way. More importantly, only Apple’s “Horizon Machine” can fix certain issues with your phone screen such as a damaged fingerprint sensor.
The company is also hoping that the new machines will help you avoid long wait times at Apple stores.
Still, it’s somewhat of a surprising move, considering the fact that Apple is fighting a bill that would force the company to make it easier for people to fix their iPhones. If the bill passes, Apple will be legally required to “sell replacement parts and tools,” remove “software locks that place limits on repairs,” and provide repair guides to the public.
Thankfully, this comes just in time before the expected release of the iPhone 8 this September, as the new model will feature an edge-to-edge glass screen that covers the entire front of the device — which, if you’re prone to dropping your phone like I am, could spell disaster.
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