Apple has begun offering in-home iPhone screen replacements in some U.S. cities including San Francisco and Chicago. The service, provided by Apple Authorized provider Go Tech Services, is available to AppleCare customers for the same price as in-store replacements, MacRumors reports.
The service appears to be limited for now — Scheduling anything other than iPhone screen replacements doesn’t bring up the in-home option. Still, cracked screens are among the most common repair issues, and an in-home option could be helpful for those who have physical limitations that make it difficult to leave the house. Or maybe you’re just a busy person. You can also request a repair at your office.
One clear downside I see is that MacRumors reports Go Tech Services is only available in a few major cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Dallas. These are all places that have plentiful Apple Stores and authorized service providers.
Apple’s grip on repairs — Apple tightly controls its program for independent repair shops, and doesn’t provide repair parts to anyone who it hasn’t authorized. Critics have argued this limited program pushes up the price of repairs because it restricts the amount of people who can conduct repairs. Apple has been fighting a “right to repair” lawsuit in California that would require the company to make repair parts, tools, and manuals available to the public.
If the law were to pass, we may see more independent shops sprout up and more comprehensive in-home repair options. Apple argues that only trained technicians should fix its devices for fear that others could hurt themselves or break a device.