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.”