APPLE IS PLANNING to bring its proprietary screen repair machines to third-party repair shops across the globe.
So says Reuters, which received confirmation from Apple that it'll put its until-now-secretive 'Horizon' screen repair machines in around 400 authorised third-party repair centres in 25 countries.
Apple's rollout of the machines will be complete by the end of 2017 according to the report, with stores across the US said the be the first recipients. The rollout follows a year-long pilot programme, which saw some stores - including Best Buy - installing the machines in their stores.
Reuters, which has become the first to catch a glimpse of the machine, also has the skinny on how it works.
"Once the new screen is mounted, the iPhone goes into the Horizon Machine, which allows Apple's software to communicate with the fresh hardware. Over the course of 10 to 12 minutes, the machine talks to the phone's operating system to pair the fingerprint sensor to the phone's brain," it explains.
"While that unfolds, a mechanical finger jabs the screen in multiple places to test the touch-sensitive surface. The machine also fine tunes the display and software to match the precise colours and calibration of the original."
The company previously used the Horizon machines exclusively in its own stores and mail-in repair centres, and many have speculated that the expansion comes as a reaction to the 'right to repair' legislation in the US, which requires Apple and other electronics manufacturers to sell repair parts to consumers and independent repair shops.
Apple told Reuters, however, that this wasn't a factor, despite having lobbied against the legislation. Instead, the report claims, the rollout comes as the firm looks to combat the long wait times for screen repairs.
Perhaps developing a iPhone that didn't crack so easily would be a better idea, although it looks like the so-called iPhone 8, which is tipped to feature an all-glass design', will be more shatter-prone than ever.
"We design for a customer experience that exceeds anything our competitors try to do," Apple's senior director of service operations at Apple Brian Naumann told Reuters. "We endeavour to make it right at the same standard as when the customer bought the product." µ
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