Mon. Dec 6th, 2021


Apples Announcement Wednesday that it will start letting people repair their own products. The announcement marks a change in Apple’s repair policy and a major step in the right-to-repair movement. At the same time, the new program shows how Apple still wants these self-service repairs to happen on its own terms.

The new method of iPhone maker is relatively simple. Apple will soon be providing repair manuals for some devices and after reviewing them, customers will be able to order the tools and components needed for repairs from a new section of Apple’s website. At the start of the program, Apple will sell more than 200 different parts or tools to fix its iPhone 12 and 13 lineups. Apple has said that the program will eventually include the Mac That computer has the M1 chip.

Wednesday’s announcement is a big change for Apple. Historically, the company has typically offered repair equipment and replacement parts only to its 5,000 Apple-approved service providers and another 2,800 independent repair stores. Apple-certified technologist. Apples have long Right-to-repair advocates have been criticized for wanting manufacturers to give customers the ability to fix their own devices, in addition to this policy. Its hardware design practice that can’t be easily upgraded Or that some elements be included Only Apple has access.

Dozens of states Proposed right-to-repair law In recent years, Apple has fought that bill. For example, companies Successfully referred to California lawmakers In 2019, customers could set fire to the iPhone’s lithium-ion batteries if accidentally damaged while trying to repair them. Apple has also suggested that their devices may have security and privacy Compromise By Unauthorized repairs.

Despite Apple’s best efforts, this right-to-repair movement has recently won support at the White House. In July, President Joe Biden passed a resolution Executive order That, among other things, directs the Federal Trade Commission to create new right-to-repair regulations. Towards the end of that month, the agency also announced that it would “increase enforcement action against.”Invalid”Restrictions on repairs, later An investigation The various techniques used by manufacturers to make products difficult to fix. Apple’s decision in this regard was announced Same day as an original deadline Activists are concerned about a right-to-repair resolution filed by Apple Shareholders Back in September, A connection first reported by The Verge

Green Century – the sustainable-centric mutual fund that led the effort – has now overturned its resolution, which will Push Apple to study the environmental impact of its strict repair policy.

“We felt it was a big enough step,” Analisa Tarizo, a shareholder advocate for Green Century, told the record. “We hope to be involved in the companies that invest in this issue because we think it’s really important and there are real risks for investors involved in this issue.”

New guidelines from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could affect Apple’s timing, Tarizo added. About two weeks ago, the company repealed a Trump-era rule that made it Dismissing socially conscious shareholder resolution is easy for the company. Green Century also had a deadline on Wednesday to defend its proposal to the SEC, which asked Apple to block it.

So Apple’s concessions to some demands from right-to-repair workers seem to be an attempt to give precedence to any new regulations with its new repair program. But there are some limitations to the company’s approach. It’s not exactly encouraging all users to start rooting their iPhones and MacBooks. Inside Press release Announcing self-service repairs, Apple says the program is “for individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices” and “most customers” must go to an approved repair store. Meanwhile, customers who decide to repair their own devices under the new program will still have to buy parts directly from Apple, which also sets the price of those components.

“This is not the open source repair revolution we’ve seen through our fight for repair rights,” said Elizabeth Chamberlain, iFixit’s director of sustainability. A blog post on Wednesday. “If there is now an ‘official’ way to avoid warning messages and feature loss when you need a replacement Battery, The camera, Or Display, Apple has less incentive to help those who are using third-party devices, or have been rescued from another iPhone. By controlling the device market, Apple can also decide when devices will become obsolete. ”

This is not the first time that Apple has adjusted its strategy before possible regulation or legal action. In a proposed settlement to a class action lawsuit representing software developers this summer, Apple said it would allow companies Tell iPhone and iPad users how to pay for purchases, such as subscriptions Outside the App Store ecosystem. The company said in September Has changed its rules for in-app purchases When the company was embroiled in a controversy with Epic Games. None of these app-related updates have changed Apple’s policy of charging large fees to third parties operating in Apple’s ecosystem, while Apple’s own apps get free rides.

Apple seems to be adopting a similar approach with its new repair system. But while the company’s new program brings a lot of caution, the move is a big win for customers who don’t want to send their devices to Apple or find an approved repair shop. Soon, they will be able to comfortably replace an iPhone screen or battery in their own home.

Updated, November 17, 4:20 ET: This section has been updated to report that Green Century Capital Management has withdrawn its right-to-repair shareholder offer following Apple’s announcement.



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