Nikon is ending its authorized repair program in early 2020, likely leaving more than a dozen repair shops without access to official parts and tools, and cutting the number of places you can get your camera fixed with official parts from more than a dozen independent shops to two facilities at the ends of the U.S.
That means that Nikon’s roughly 15 remaining Authorized Repair Station members are about to become non-authorized repair shops. Since Nikon decided to stop selling genuine parts to non-authorized shops back in 2012, it’s unlikely those stores will continue to have access to the specialty components, tools, software, manuals, and model training Nikon previously provided. But Nikon hasn’t clarified this, so repair shops have been left in the dark.
“This is very big, and we have no idea what’s coming next,” said Cliff Hanks, parts manager for Kurt’s Camera Repair in San Diego, Calif. “We need more information before March 31. We can make contingency plans, start stocking up on stuff, but when will we know for sure?”
In a letter obtained by iFixit, Nikon USA told its roughly 15 remaining Authorized Repair Station members in early November that it would not renew their agreements after March 31, 2020. The letter notes that “The climate in which we do business has evolved, and Nikon Inc. must do the same.” And so, Nikon writes, it must “change the manner in which we make product service available to our end user customers.”
In other words: Nikon’s camera business, slowly bled by smartphones, is going to adopt a repair model that’s even more restrictive than that of Apple or other smartphone makers. If your camera breaks, and you want it fixed with official parts or under warranty, you’ll now have to mail it to one of two ends of the country. This is more than a little inconvenient, especially for professional photographers.
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