Manitoba Daily

Monday, December 6, 2021

In response to increasing pressure, Apple will allow self-repairs for some Apple gadgets

Key takeaways:

  • This is a big change from the company’s previous policy of only allowing company-approved personnel to work on its proprietary gear and software.
  • According to a shareholder petition from an ecologically conscious investment organisation, the company’s anti-repair actions are leading to electronic trash.

Apple is allowing some iPhone customers to repair their own devices, a significant shift from its previous policy of allowing only company-approved professionals to work on its proprietary hardware and software.

Apple announced on Wednesday that users of two of the most recent iPhone models and some Mac computers would be able to get real Apple parts and equipment for consumer repairs.

The adjustment echoes President Joe Biden’s support for the “right to repair” campaign, affecting everything from cellphones to vehicles and tractors. 

It’s a reaction to the increasing integration of software into more daily devices, as well as the tactics of manufacturers who have made it more difficult and expensive to repair those products.

Also read: Canada will no longer need a negative PCR test for small cross-border trips

According to the company, Apple plans to introduce an online store for self-service repairs early next year, with more than 200 specific parts and equipment for doing the most common iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 repairs. 

It will initially focus on the do-it-yourself screen, battery, and display repairs, which Apple previously opposed due to security and safety concerns, such as incorrect battery replacements damaging a device.

According to Maureen Mahoney, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, Apple’s decision is good news for customers and a sign that comparable requirements should apply to other products.

She stated, “If you buy a product, you should be able to fix it.” “Otherwise, users must rely on the manufacturer’s approved repairer or purchase a new one,” says the report.

Under pressure, Apple allows self-repairs to some iPhones, Macs

The FTC, the Biden administration, and state legislators have all been looking into regulatory changes that make it easier for Americans to repair their malfunctioning devices.

Regulators are concerned about restrictions that force consumers into manufacturers’ and sellers’ repair networks, increasing consumer costs and excluding independent repair shops from economic opportunities. 

They’ve also stated that these repair limits disproportionately affect minority and low-income customers. 

Many Black-owned small businesses undertake equipment repairs, according to a May FTC report to Congress, and entrepreneurs from underprivileged neighbourhoods frequently hold repair shops.

Because it practised locking down its software so that parts are encoded to a certain device, Apple has long been a target for right-to-repair proponents. Some attempted fixes have rendered phones inoperable, such as replacing an original broken screen with a third-party screen.

The adjustments Apple is making have limitations, but they are nevertheless “a huge milestone,” according to Nathan Proctor, senior director of U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign.

“One of the most visible opponents of right-to-repair is switching direction in a significant way,” he said.

That, according to Proctor, is due to mounting pressure from a variety of sources, including some of Apple’s investors. According to a shareholder petition from an ecologically conscious investment organisation, the company’s anti-repair actions are leading to electronic trash.

Source: Global News

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