• Apple and The Right to Repair



    The Huffington Post ran a story late last week accusing Apple of actively lobbying against so-called "right to repair" legislation in two of the four states where it has been proposed.

    Right to repair is an organized movement, currently seeking to be recognized by law in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. The official website makes the following pitch:

    "When manufacturers own the only repair shop around, prices go up and quality goes down. Competition is better for customers, but mom and pop repair shops are struggling with unfair practices by multinational corporations. Consumers and repair pros are starting to fight back."

    Lawmakers in the aforementioned states like the idea because it could potentially reduce the vast amounts of electronics waste generated by consumer electronics. Apple says it helps recycle millions of pounds of such waste each year, yet it has actively campaigned against right to repair.

    Reached by HuffPost, Apple repeatedly pointed to its 2016 Environmental Report as a means to underscore its commitments to a greener planet. In that report, Apple says it works with 160 recycling programs around the world and says it holds them to “rigorous standards of environmental compliance, health and safety, and social responsibility.” But it did not elaborate on those standards after HuffPost brought up a recent report from the Basel Action Network, a nonprofit environmental watchdog group, indicating that even some “responsible” recyclers in the United States had gone back on their word and handled e-waste inappropriately.

    In other words, we don’t know for certain how Apple makes recycling programs adhere to its standards, and that doesn’t even matter if your iPhone winds up at a recycling program unaffiliated with the company.

    Apple also said it does not comment on pending legislation, as these right to repair amendments are. HuffPost pressed further, pointing out that Apple’s lobbying costs are public record and that it seemed odd that a company so committed to going green wouldn’t support legislation that could help reduce e-waste. Apple would not provide an official statement, though a representative said there are no numbers indicating that its products contribute to an e-waste problem.
    For the whole story, see the links directly below.

    Sources: Huffington Post via Slashdot, The Repair Association

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple and The Right to Repair started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 60 Comments
    1. NotABiot's Avatar
      NotABiot -
      The problem of iPhones being broken by mere attempts to fix them or replace the battery by adding four simple screws, in each corner of the back of the phone.

      Then it could be easily opened and problems taken care of. A much better design.
    1. jakeuten's Avatar
      jakeuten -
      As someone who repairs smartphones (and mostly iPhones) for a living, these things are not that hard to fix. I'd understand Apple's concern if it were an HTC (yuck) or even Motorola, but these things literally have two different types of screws and that's it. It takes maybe 5 minutes to replace a battery, 15 for a screen.
    1. jamesqf's Avatar
      jamesqf -
      "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" Ever since the first Mac, Apple's business model has been about using image to sell inferior goods at inflated prices. They're afraid that if more people could look behind their curtains, they'd realize this. They should have more faith in the remark about the birth rate of suckers, often attributed to P.T. Barnum.
    1. Doolie's Avatar
      Doolie -
      Screens and batteries are one thing, but the Touch ID sensor is another. I don't want anyone but an authorized Apple repair shop to replace my Touch ID sensor and that is for security. My local Apple certified shop is a small mom and pop. I feel good about supporting local business and community.
    1. motorcycle mama's Avatar
      motorcycle mama -
      Where exactly is this "right" written?
    1. veriztd's Avatar
      veriztd -
      Quote Originally Posted by motorcycle mama View Post
      Where exactly is this "right" written?
      The issue is Apple wanting to restrict repairs to be done through their own stores vs. outside repair centers. I agree that this is wrong and highly anti-competitive. Sadly, this behavior from Apple has been around since 1976 with the first Apple computers and and still exists today.

      The first iPhone, iPod and iPad were the first devices that Apple ever allowed other re-sellers to market Apple products outside an Apple retail store.
    1. Donkey's Avatar
      Donkey -
      I guess they just want to make all the money on their products. A friend of mine who used to work for a company called Moduslink, he was repairing iPhone and iPad.
    1. motorcycle mama's Avatar
      motorcycle mama -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      The issue is Apple wanting to restrict repairs to be done through their own stores vs. outside repair centers. I agree that this is wrong and highly anti-competitive. Sadly, this behavior from Apple has been around since 1976 with the first Apple computers and and still exists today.

      The first iPhone, iPod and iPad were the first devices that Apple ever allowed other re-sellers to market Apple products outside an Apple retail store.
      Yeah, I get what the issue is. And I don't disagree with that.

      However, I take issue with people referring to something like this as a "right".
    1. veriztd's Avatar
      veriztd -
      Quote Originally Posted by motorcycle mama View Post
      However, I take issue with people referring to something like this as a "right".
      It would be the same as a car manufacturer telling you that you cannot service your car at an independent mechanic and pay far more at the car dealership.

      We have a "right" to get it serviced elsewhere. I think that would be a good example.
    1. mmoose's Avatar
      mmoose -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      It would be the same as a car manufacturer telling you that you cannot service your car at an independent mechanic and pay far more at the car dealership.

      We have a "right" to get it serviced elsewhere. I think that would be a good example.
      I don't disagree with you about this. But perhaps motorcycle mama's point is that consumers don't have a "right" to impose certain conditions on Apple's business model... rather, consumers have a "right" to not purchase products from a company that is so clearly anti-consumer.

      To extend your car analogy, if Honda started requiring every repair to be made at a Honda dealer, people could just buy Toyotas instead (or whatever).
    1. Doolie's Avatar
      Doolie -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      It would be the same as a car manufacturer telling you that you cannot service your car at an independent mechanic and pay far more at the car dealership.

      We have a "right" to get it serviced elsewhere. I think that would be a good example.
      Explain this to Tesla Motors. Tesla will only sell OEM replacement parts to Certified Tesla Repair shops.
    1. veriztd's Avatar
      veriztd -
      Tesla motors is a horse of another color as their cars are very unique and most mechanics lack many of the tools required to service those vehicles unlike an iPhone
    1. Doolie's Avatar
      Doolie -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      Tesla motors is a horse of another color as their cars are very unique and most mechanics lack many of the tools required to service those vehicles unlike an iPhone
      Then, I guess I t would not be the same as a car manufacturer telling you that you cannot service your car at an independent mechanic and pay far more at the car dealership.
    1. veriztd's Avatar
      veriztd -
      My point is that virtually anybody with the right tools CAN service an iPhone. Now you are splitting hairs.

      A manufacturer refusing others from servicing their product is anticompetitive.
    1. motorcycle mama's Avatar
      motorcycle mama -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      It would be the same as a car manufacturer telling you that you cannot service your car at an independent mechanic and pay far more at the car dealership.

      We have a "right" to get it serviced elsewhere. I think that would be a good example.
      Yes, again, I "get" it. However it is not a right.
    1. veriztd's Avatar
      veriztd -
      MM, have to disagree with you there. I have a "right" to repair my phone where I choose to or by myself. That's the issue.
    1. jamesqf's Avatar
      jamesqf -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doolie View Post
      Explain this to Tesla Motors. Tesla will only sell OEM replacement parts to Certified Tesla Repair shops.
      I bet I could take a Tesla to just about any tire shop to get new tires or custom wheels; get windshield wipers or headlights at the local parts store, and so on. Those things seem to me to be the automotive equivalent of replacing your iThing battery: normal wear items that should be easily replaceable.
    1. brad15's Avatar
      brad15 -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      MM, have to disagree with you there. I have a "right" to repair my phone where I choose to or by myself. That's the issue.
      Of course you still do. This bill is about the cost for said 3rd party repairs. Just as if you usually go to a mom n pop car repair place you almost always pay more for parts due to them not having as much access to bulk purchases of parts
    1. Doolie's Avatar
      Doolie -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      My point is that virtually anybody with the right tools CAN service an iPhone. Now you are splitting hairs.

      A manufacturer refusing others from servicing their product is anticompetitive.
      Not true. Touch ID needs to be authenticated and only Apple will allow authorized service providers to do that for security.
    1. motorcycle mama's Avatar
      motorcycle mama -
      Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
      MM, have to disagree with you there. I have a "right" to repair my phone where I choose to or by myself. That's the issue.
      I'm done. But again I will ask my original question. Where is this "right" written?