REUTERS: Apple Inc said on Monday it had expanded a program that provides parts and training to independent repair shops to cover its Mac computers.
Apple initially launched the program last year, but it only covered iPhones, the company's biggest-selling product. Mac users previously either had to use Apple or an authorized warranty service provider to get fixes with parts directly from Apple.
Apple last month reported an uptick of 21.6per cent in quarterly Mac sales to US$7 billion as many employees shifted to working from home. Its market share grew to 7.3per cent in the second quarter from 6.3per cent a year earlier, according to research firm IDC.
Apple's shift in repair practices came after years of calls from right-to-repair groups who had criticized the company for, among other things, only providing genuine parts and training manuals to firms such as Best Buy Inc that were to do warranty-related work on its devices. Smaller shops argued that program was too costly to join due to volume commitments.
With the independent repair program, Apple began offering to sell parts and provide free training courses to independent shops to perform out-of-warranty work.
After starting in the United States, Apple expanded the program to 32 countries in Europe as well as Canada last month, saying 140 businesses with a total of 700 locations had signed up.
(This story adds dropped letter in second paragraph.)
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Diane Craft)