Apple Dispatches 400 iPhone Screen Repair Machines To Best Buy And Authorized Service Centers

If you have a cracked iPhone screen and want to get it repaired the “right” way, you will soon have a new avenue for getting those repairs completed — and it won’t necessarily have to be at an Apple Store. Apple is sending out its own proprietary machines that can safely and effectively replace iPhone displays, while certifying that secure elements of the device (like the fingerprint sensor) will continue to work.

According to a new report, Apple will be sending out 400 of these machines in 25 countries throughout the globe by the end of 2017. Unsurprisingly, Best Buy, which is one of the largest sellers (and repairers) of Apple products in the United States. According to the report, Best Buy has one of Apple’s screen repair machines operational in a Miami-area location and will deploy another unit in Sunnyvale, California.

iphone 6 cracked
(Image Source: Dariusz Więckiewicz/Flickr)

What makes this machine so important to iPhone screen repairs — specifically, iPhones that have Touch ID enabled -- is that the screen can be replaced without actually bricking the device. “For security, only Apple’s fix-it machine can tell the iPhone’s processor, its silicon brain, to recognize a replacement sensor,” writes Reuters. “Without it, the iPhone won’t unlock with the touch of a finger. Banking apps that require a fingerprint won’t work either, including the Apple Pay digital wallet.”

Apple is dispatching the machines around the globe in part to ease the stress that its retail store locations have been put under with regards to replacing displays. A cracked display is one of the top reasons that an iPhone is brought in for service, and the delicate balance of replacing a display while keeping security credentials intact can be time consuming, which has resulted in longer wait times for customers.

Getting the machines out to more locations not only helps relieve a pressure point for Apple, but also gives Apple customers who might not otherwise have an Apple Store nearby access to authorized screen repairs.