Apple Partners with Best Buy on iPhone Repair

Posted on June 19, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPadOS, Mac and macOS, Mobile with 19 Comments

Apple announced today that it has partnered with Best Buy to offer repairs for the iPhone and other Apple products.

“At Apple, we’re dedicated to providing the best customer service in the world,” Apple vice president Tara Bunch said in a prepared statement. “If a customer ever needs to repair their products, we want them to feel confident those repairs are done safely and correctly. We’re always looking at how we can reliably expand our network of trained technicians and we’re excited to partner with every Best Buy store so it’s even easier for our customers to find an authorized repair location near them.”

The problem for Apple, of course, is that its retail store locations are used almost exclusively for iPhone repairs, so these destinations are now perceived as negative places for many of its customers. This change from the Apple Store’s earliest days, when it was a mecca for Apple fans, explains the firm’s recent strategy of changing the locations into town hall-style educational destinations. It also explains why Apple is trying to move repairs outside of the Store as much as possible.

Best Buy is a desirable partner because the retailer has so many locations, including many that are nowhere near Apple’s own stores. Best Buy has about 1000 retail locations in the U.S. alone, compared to around 500 worldwide for Apple. Apple notes, too, that Best Buy, which already hosts mini-Apple stores within their own stores, has almost 7,600 Apple-certified technicians on hand to make same-day repairs for iPhone and other Apple products.

“We love being there for our customers no matter what their Apple need is, from helping them choose the right device, to offering AppleCare protection and now helping fix their devices,” Best Buy president Trish Walker adds. “We’ve always enjoyed a great partnership with Apple and we’re thrilled that, together, we can better serve our customers.”

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Apple Partners with Best Buy on iPhone Repair”

  1. Thomas Parkison

    Oh so I'm going to have an Idiot Squad Agent working on my device? No thank you! I hope that Apple still allows their Apple Stores to do iDevice repairs since I won't let Worst Buy employees touch my iPhone.

  2. remc86007

    This is exciting to me. I'd rather hangout at a Best Buy while my iphone battery is replaced than at an Apple store.

  3. Chris Payne

    "The problem for Apple, of course, is that its retail store locations are used almost exclusively for iPhone repairs, so these destinations are now perceived as negative places for many of its customers. "

    Where in the world does this come from? Where do you have evidence of this? Apple retail stores have for years had, by far, the highest revenue per square foot of any retailer. I would highly doubt all that revenue comes from mostly iPhone repairs. AFAIK, Apple doesn't break out store revenue by category.

    • Andi

      In reply to unkinected:

      How is that revenue calculated? Are the company's entire revenues divided by its retail presence area? If that is the case it's dishonest as many Apple wares are sold in bulk outside of Apple's official stores - think carrier deals, 3rd party retailers and e-tailers, etc.

      • steenmachine

        In reply to Andi:

        It is the average revenue a retail business creates for every square foot of sales space. Apple has had the highest for a least a decade, Tiffany's being number 2. I believe it's an efficiency metric, but its merit is lost on me. Especially in today's landscape where companies like Amazon have very little footprint by design.

        But unkinected's original point was that "retail stores are..for iPhone repairs" is a false statement. I would agree.

  4. melinau

    This may prove helpful for some US buyers. To me it looks like the same old cynical Apple trying to look helpful, while continuing the lock-out of independent repairers like the inimitable Mr Louis Rossman.

  5. wocowboy

    I have never seen my local Apple Store as a "negative place" because of having to have an Apple device I own repaired. The one time I had to have an iPhone repaired, after a drop into a full sink of water that was totally my fault that resulted in the thing not being able to be shut down, it just rebooted itself instead of shutting down, I was honest with the guy, telling him exactly what I had done, and after examining it in the back he just gave me a replacement refurb iPhone, mentioning that indeed the water sensor had gone off and that he appreciated my honesty in the matter. A good experience indeed. And another instance where I had to have a laptop repaired was good as well, I think because I did not yell and scream at the person I was talking to, as someone near me was. Totally embarrassing, that person was being a complete jackass to the Apple guy. I am just one person, not the "many" cited by Paul, but I have found that if you go into a repair visit with a good attitude and be honest with the people there, you will have a good experience. The techs are people too, having good days and bad days, we are all human in that regard.

  6. wright_is

    I wish they would do something like that over here, we still have the "send it to the official repair center, wait 2 weeks for it to be returned" method.

    Most other manufacturers simply swap out non-functional devices with a refurb - they send the new unit, you remove your SIM, battery (if removable) and memory card and stick them in the new phone and send the told one back. As long as it wasn't your fault there is also no charge (own fault = broken display or water in a non IP68 phone).

    When my Galaxy S3 died (dropped and all antennas stopped working), it was simply swapped out, no questions asked.

    When my iPhone died, it was sent off for repair, wait 2 weeks, returned "no fault found", it died again a day later, sent off for repair, wait 2 weeks, returned "no fault found", died whilst still in the shop, wait 2 weeks, replacement device sent out.

    If they would do a similar deal with MediaMarkt/Saturn, it might give people more confidence in buying their products.

  7. bob_shutts

    Anything besides that mob at the Apple Store.

  8. harrymyhre

    i was at one of the carrier stores the other day. The iPhones were bolted to the wall alongside every other phone. One can barely distinguish where the iphone line stops and the next manufacturer phones start. Like a used car lot.

  9. Mav Pen

    Yay, we can now watch the repair olympics. Let’s see who can break the World Record for telling customers they need to buy a new product for simple fixes first.

  10. MikeGalos

    Paying that premium price for that famous Best Buy experience.

  11. AnOldAmigaUser

    So, Apple is saying the Geek Squad are Geniuses?

  12. karlinhigh

    Fascinating. A device maker wants to completely own and control their device ecosystem. Until it turns out that device repairs aren't actually all that fun, profitable, or prestigious.