Apple are about to make it a lot easier to fix your cracked iPhone screen without going to a dodgy repair shop.

Apple have announced a new scheme which is preparing to roll out hundreds of machines which will let third party shops repair your cracked iPhone.

Until now, many Brits had to go into Apple stores to fix their smashed smartphone screens or run the risk of trusting one of those dodgy unofficial shops.

This will soon stop, however, as by the end of 2017, Apple will have put its proprietary machines for mending cracked iPhone glass in around 400 authorised third-party repair centres in 25 countries, company executives told Reuters.

Among the first recipients will be the American shop chain Best Buy, which has long sold and serviced Apple products. The electronics retailer already has one of the screen-repair machines at a Miami-area store and one will soon be installed in an outlet in Sunnyvale, California. In addition to Miami, a few machines already are operating at third-party repair centres in London, Shanghai and Singapore.

The move is also a major shift for Apple. The company had previously restricted use of its so-called Horizon Machine to its nearly 500 retail stores and mail-in repair centres and has guarded its design closely.

“We’ve been on a quest to expand our reach,” said Brian Naumann, senior director of service operations at Apple.

He said repair wait times have grown at some of the company’s busiest retail stores.

Apple has said its customers can still get their devices fixed at non-authorized shops without voiding their warranties as long as the technician caused no damage. However, the Horizon Machine is needed to remedy the trickiest mishaps, such as when the fingerprint sensor attached to the back of the glass gets damaged when a phone is dropped.

For security, only Apple’s fix-it machine can tell the iPhone’s processor, its silicon brain, to recognise a replacement sensor. Without it, the iPhone won’t unlock with the touch of a finger.

Banking apps that require a fingerprint won’t work either, including the Apple Pay digital wallet.

Apple only actually got into the screen-fixing business three years ago with the introduction of the iPhone 5. Before then, customers whose phones were out of warranty paid a “repair” fee, but Apple simply replaced the entire phone.

Apple says its process aims to make the display look like it has just come out of the box.

“We design for a customer experience that exceeds anything our competitors try to do,” said Naumann, Apple’s service chief.

“We endeavour to make it right at the same standard as when the customer bought the product.”


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