By: Nick Gambino

Apple is notorious for keeping everything in a closed loop that requires you to deal with the company itself when you need to repair your iPhone or do just about anything with an Apple product. They’ve even gone as far as using a shop that offers knock-off repairs.

While the Cupertino-based company probably won’t turn over a new leaf anytime soon, a recent announcement suggests they are willing to loosen the reigns, even if just a bit. For the first time ever, they will officially allow third-party repair shops to perform basic fixes on your iPhone. Though, there are still restrictions on how and when.

These independent shops will only be allowed to fix out-of-warranty iPhones. In other words, don’t step on the toes of the tech giant. In order to become an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) they will have to undergo some basic training and certification. Once they are certified they’ll receive tools, parts, repair manuals and Apple-specific diagnostics that will allow them to repair iPhones without jerry-rigged workarounds.

“To better meet our customers’ needs, we’re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network,” Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a press release. “When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right. We believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested.”

AASPs won’t be able to perform any major repairs on your device if it requires fiddling with the guts or replacing the motherboard. Apple wants to keep those repairs in-house, but if you are in need of a screen replacement or new battery, you can walk in, pay a fee and have them do it for you without any worries as to whether you’re getting some off-brand screen or battery.

Apple is providing certification for free, but shops will have to pay for the training and purchase replacement parts, tools, etc.

For now, third-party repairs are only being authorized for iPhones but hopefully in the future they’ll allow iPads and maybe, but unlikely, Macs.