• Apple has just rolled out its Independent Repair Program, which allows authorized independent repairers to repair iPhones with genuine parts.

  • Director of the distribution channel for smartphones Save, Charles Bocquillon reveals the principle of IRP which is timely, while more and more consumers prefer to repair their smartphone than to change it.

  • Be careful though, original Apple parts are expensive and depending on your iPhone model, compatible parts are more economical.

Pick up the IRP!

Launched by Apple a few weeks ago, the Independent Repair Program now allows authorized repairers to offer original parts for the repair of iPhones.

This possibility was previously only given to authorized retailers (FNAC, Darty, etc.) and, of course, to Apple Stores.

At the head of the Save chain (186 stores in France), Charles Bocquillon deciphers for "20 Minutes" the springs of the IRP in a market increasingly oriented towards repair...

Who says smartphone repair, often says generic parts.

What is it exactly?

You should know that you can repair a smartphone with so-called "compatible" parts, or with original parts.

In this second case, the repair is based on an agreement with the manufacturers, as is the case for our brand with Samsung since 2011, then with Xiaomi and Huawei.

Recently, Apple's Independent Repair Program (IRP) allows independent repairers, such as those in the Save network, to repair iPhones with genuine parts.

What does this Apple-specific program involve?

We have an approval contract with Apple, with exclusive access to original parts.

In addition to access to branded components, this program allows us to retain the right to use compatible parts in our stores.

We are required to offer both to customers.

On the other hand, we cannot repair an iPhone under warranty: its owner must go to an authorized reseller, or an Apple Store to benefit from a free repair if it is covered by the warranty.

If, for one reason or another, one of our customers asked us to intervene on an iPhone under warranty, he would have to pay the costs and would not be reimbursed by the manufacturer.

Is it worth using original parts, which are usually more expensive?

It all depends on the models.

On an iPhone 7, for example, a compatible screen costs 100 euros, while an original screen costs 200. Obviously, it is quite difficult under these conditions to sell original parts to customers... But things evolve with the most recent models.

An iPhone 11 Pro Max compatible screen costs 289 euros, compared to 389 euros for an original screen.

As for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it will take 389 euros for a compatible screen… and the same price for an original panel!

And for the iPhone 13?

There is always a delay of six months to a year between the release of a new iPhone and the arrival of its compatible parts on the market.

For the 13, there are still no compatible parts!

Technically, it is becoming more and more complicated to manufacture compatible components for the latest iPhones.

The Face ID facial recognition system must in particular be linked to the screen.

There's a lot of technology in it.

When you change one without the other, it can be a problem.

Thus, we know how to change the screen, replace Face ID, but at the risk that the facial recognition software will then block...

Generally, what types of components do customers turn to: compatible or original?

We explain to them the difference between the two and they are the ones who choose.

We find that currently 10-15% of our customers are opting for genuine parts.

But our entire network is not yet deployed.

Our repairers participate in training sessions for this and we invest in specific equipment, such as calibration tools for Face ID.

It is estimated that in 12 to 18 months, we will be around 30 to 40% repairs with original parts.

The repair incentive system gradually implemented by France in the coming months will contribute to this.

What does this future repair fund consist of?

The principle is to extend the life of products, with a common fund between manufacturers and the State.

This will encourage repairs, and allow the repairer to reduce the customer's bill.

We will thus be able to declare a repair to the State, with an estimate.

With this device managed by the ecosystem organization, we will be able to make discounts to customers, the difference being covered by the repair fund.

To guide the customer towards quality solutions and avoid fraud, repairers must be certified "QualiRépar".

Precisely, do you already notice among your customers a greater appetite for extending the life of their smartphone?

Yes, there is a movement taking place.

And technological innovation has slowed down, it is much more software now, as with contactless payment.

Thus, people are less inclined to change smartphones quickly.

Among consumers, however, we distinguish the “nomophobes”, who represent approximately 60% of people.

They are the ones who are afraid of no longer being with their phone and cut off from the world.

They will have their smartphone repaired no matter what.

Then there are the customers who have repairs done out of economic interest.

They know they are winning, even if for them, the refurbished smartphone is a credible alternative.

In third position, we find customers who have their repairs done for ecological reasons.

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