Published in Mobiles

Apple could easily bring in “right to repair”

by on29 March 2019

It just does not want too

Internal documents leaked to the tech press show that Apple is fully capable of implementing any right to repair legislation.

 According to Motherboard, Apple has drawn up outlines of a programme that looks almost exactly like the requirements of the right to repair legislation that has been proposed in 20 states.

The internal Apple presentation undercuts many of the arguments that electronics industry lobbyists have made, namely ones that note that repair is too difficult for any “unauthorised” people to do or that argue the security of products could be undermined by giving diagnostic tools to independent companies. Apple executives have in the past argued that iPhones are too "complex" for the company to open its repair supply chain.

The leaked document notes that people outside of Apple are perfectly capable of doing good repair work. It says that independent repair companies will “own [their] customer” and that “you stand behind your workmanship”.

The fruity cargo cult is fighting tooth and nail to avoid making its products repairable on the grounds that it will eat into their profits.

The  presentation, titled “Apple Genuine Parts Repair” and dated April 2018, the company has begun to give some repair companies access to Apple diagnostic software, a wide variety of genuine Apple repair parts, repair training, and notably places no restrictions on the types of repairs that independent companies are allowed to do.

The presentation notes that repair companies can “keep doing what you’re doing, with … Apple genuine parts, reliable parts supply, and Apple process and training”.

This is, broadly speaking, what right to repair activists have been asking state legislators to require companies to offer for years.

Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit and a prominent member of the right to repair movement said that it appears that Apple is only allowing the right to a few megachains, but "it seems clear to me that it would be totally possible to comply with the right to repair”.

Right to repair legislation that has been introduced in 20 states would return access to consumer goods to consumers themselves by requiring electronics manufacturers to sell replacement parts and repair tools to independent repair shops and the general public. It would also require them to make internal repair guides and diagnostic tools public.

Apple’s lobbyists told a Nebraska state lawmaker that the legislation would turn the state into a “Mecca” for hackers and “bad actors”. A letter obtained by Motherboard that was sent last month to a Georgia lawmaker by 17 trade organizations that represent consumer tech, video game, wireless, home appliance, and air conditioning companies (including Apple) says that right to repair legislation “threatens consumer security and safety” and “stifles innovation”.

Last modified on 29 March 2019
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