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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: US technology giant Apple has expanded its independent repair provider program to Saudi Arabia.
The move will allow vendors in the Kingdom access to parts, tools, and manuals in order to offer repair services for its range of products, including the popular iPhone.
The repair program is currently offered by around 1,500 providers in the US, Canada, and Europe but the California-based firm is planning to widen the scope to 200 countries, with Saudi Arabia the latest addition.
“The independent repair provider program has been a very positive experience for us and for our customers,” said Nils Weber, project manager for Pro Repair GmbH in Germany.
“During (the coronavirus disease) COVID-19 (pandemic), reliable access to parts has allowed us to adapt our business to accommodate the sudden high demand for mail-in repairs from our customers.”
Last week, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and the UAE were added to the program and will be joined later in the year by Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, and Palestine.
There is no charge for providers to be included in the program and Apple offers access to free training, as well as the same official parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics as Apple authorized service providers and Apple store outlets. Potential Saudi providers can apply to join the program at support.apple.com.
In order to qualify for the program providers must complete an Apple training course and obtain certification. Customers can also check on Apple’s website to verify if providers have been approved and certified by the company.
Apple is the largest US-listed public company by market capitalization, passing the $2 trillion mark in August last year, having doubled in size in just two years.
Despite some of its retail outlets being shut as a result of restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Apple’s revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 26 rose 21 percent to $111.44 billion, beating analysts’ estimates. Sales of its flagship iPhone during the quarter were $65 billion, breaking a record set three years ago.
In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Reuters the company boasted 1.65 billion active devices, up from 1.5 billion a year earlier. At the same time, the firm has 620 million paying subscribers on its platform, beating its goal to have 600 million by the end of 2020.
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