Along with the anticipated new iPhone models, Apple dropped some not-so-exciting news about their updated Service Pricing to cover the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The first model will have the same already incredibly high prices as the iPhone X for screen repair ($279) and “other damage” ($549), while the iPhone XS Max goes even higher, costing $329 and $599 respectively.

With such high costs to repair broken screens, usually the smart move is to buy the AppleCare+ package, but at $269 plus the $99 fee for “other damage”, the total of $368 is nearly the price of a brand new iPhone 7. For the third party repair industry, this can be good news, since we can expect fewer people dropping the money to fix their phones through Apple directly, and instead looking for more affordable solutions.

Apple’s second announcement brings up a new debate about the future of iPhone repairs for independent shops. The company has now enabled software to completely calibrate replacement screens, eliminating the need for authorized repair stores to use bulky calibration hardware. This calibration step is necessary to utilize 3D touch, touch sensitivity functions, and biometric features such as Face ID. With the new calibration software, shops can expect faster repairs utilizing much less equipment by simply connecting the screen to a Mac Mini or MacBook Air that will run the process.

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Apple’s Horizon Machine for iPhone touch ID Calibration

Last year, Apple started an initiative to send calibration hardwares to third-party repair stores, expanding the repair centers to over 400 locations in 25 different nations. However, Apple is still very restrict when it comes to sending out the special hardware, but with this change, we can expect to see more doors carrying the software, since it’s much simpler for it to be sent to other locations in comparison to the previous method.

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New iPhone software calibration for Touch ID

For independent stores, we can still expect strict regulation if you decide to get approved to carry Apple software, but this might be an interesting step for the repair industry as a whole. For the moment, we can just be glad that small shops have a chance at competing since we know that at the end of the day, consumers will always search for quality services at much more reasonable prices.

What is your input? Do you think the software-based screen calibration will open a new, more democratic space inside the industry where more shops will have a chance of getting their hands on the technology, or will it create more division because only some stores will get access to it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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