New Apple repair program enhancement allows use of some older parts

Soon, iPhone repairs might be cheaper.

Apple has always been picky about how its devices are repaired and the parts used for repairs, and they're still going to be picky about used parts.

But at least Apple has finally agreed to allow the use of genuine Apple parts to repair its devices. Apple outlined the expansion of its parts program in a press release, noting that the new process for allowing the use of older parts relies heavily on Apple's Activation Lock program.

The Activation Lock feature will ensure that any used parts entering the repair program are not from a lost or stolen iPhone, and may include other devices as the program expands. Once the part is cleared from Activation Lock or Lost Mode, it is calibrated for new repairs.

Before entering the repair program, the part must be "matched," which simply confirms that it is a genuine part. This applies to all used parts, but is especially important for biometric sensors. Apple says pairing is "critical to protecting the privacy, safety, and security of iPhone."

The good news is that ordering parts no longer requires the device's serial number (unless the logic board needs to be replaced). However, Apple still tracks the parts installed in your device and can provide a repair history that includes the parts used to repair your device.

Apple said the upcoming fix program enhancements will begin "this fall," but it hasn't provided an exact date yet.