'Fair Repair Act' proposal in New York under fire by Apple lobbyists

Posted:
in iPhone
A bill currently on the table which would require electronics companies to sell replacement parts and service tools to the general public is being challenged by a lobbyist group being funded by Apple.




A report by Motherboard points out a required filing by the Roffe Group, Apple's lobbyists in New York. Out of $366,634 paid between January and April of 2017 to lobbyists both for and against the bill, Apple is responsible for $32,000 of that total.

Other companies lobbying against the bill are Apple, Caterpillar, Toyota, and Verizon. The omnibus Consumer Technology Association comprised of thousands of electronics manufacturers is also lobbying against the bill.

The fact that Apple opposes so-called right to repair bills is no surprise. In March, Apple sent delegates to oppose a similar bill in Nebraska.

Apple has consistently opposed similar government action on the matter in other states, saying its products should only be serviced by qualified technicians. Apple and allies argue such legislation would expose industry secrets and could create security and safety concerns.

While not as large as it was before the Apple Stores launched, Apple still maintains an "Authorized Service Provider" program.

The company has always contended that conducting repairs through authorized outlets like Apple stores and vetted shops provides customers with a consistent experience. Further, Apple notes that an authorized repair network helps the company control and protect its various hardware platforms that users rely on for security and authentication, like Touch ID.

Proponents of the "Fair Repair Act" state companies like Apple are only interested in holding sway over the lucrative repair industry. Opening up the repair market would present consumers with more choices, thereby lowering out-of-pocket costs, supporters say.

Apple claims both in New York and Nebraska that passage of the bill into law would result in the states becoming a "Mecca for bad actors" seeking to profit from shoddy repairs and haphazard work.

Nebraska has only one brick-and-mortar Apple store in Village Pointe, with a handful of authorized repair shops dotting the state. New York has 21 Apple Stores, and New York City alone has more than 40 venues to seek repair for iPhones outside the Apple stores.

Apple's revenue from repair is bundled in with its "services" revenue, alongside digital content sales, AppleCare, and Apple Pay revenue. While there is no good way to figure out how much revenue comes from repair, Apple's services revenue pulled down $7.04 billion in net sales, out of $52.90 billion total.

There is little solid data on what repairs cost for Apple, or how they contribute to the bottom line. In 2013, Apple hoped to save $1 billion per year on device replacements when it shifted to in-house repairs of the iPhone.

Besides Nebraska and New York, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wyoming are currently mulling similar bills.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,446member
    Here we go with this argument again....
  • Reply 2 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,674member
    I don't see Apple's goal as trying to squeeze an extra dime from repairs. This seems to fall squarely on user security through a poorly named bill.
    baconstangmejsricredgeminipa
  • Reply 3 of 55
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 490member
    I seriously question that Apple makes a significant amount on repairs.
    I have a few friends that had virtually every major component in their MBPs replaced for something like $320, including next day shipping.
    glynhnetmage
  • Reply 4 of 55
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,346member
    One of the many important reasons why these companies must have lobbyists or they end up getting steamrolled in Washington. Sorry, folks. That's how these things work.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 5 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,674member
    I seriously question that Apple makes a significant amount on repairs.
    I have a few friends that had virtually every major component in their MBPs replaced for something like $320, including next day shipping.
    I add to that saying that I doubt they also lose money on their repairs but the number of times I've gotten something for free when I assumed it would be charged is considerable… even when outside of a valid warranty.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 43member
    Excuse me, Miss. All of Nebraska has a population of 1.9 million, while New York City alone has a population of over 8.5 million. Aren't you comparing oranges and, er, oh, never mind.
    netmage
  • Reply 7 of 55
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 347member
    I seriously question that Apple makes a significant amount on repairs.
    I have a few friends that had virtually every major component in their MBPs replaced for something like $320, including next day shipping.
    I need new up and down arrow keys for my Touch Bar Macbook Pro. I can replace them myself. Apple says they'll replace the entire keyboard for ~$500, that's it. Although I usually side with Apple on their consumer policy stuff, I'm a bit sore on this thing.
    dysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 8 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,674member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I seriously question that Apple makes a significant amount on repairs.
    I have a few friends that had virtually every major component in their MBPs replaced for something like $320, including next day shipping.
    I need new up and down arrow keys for my Touch Bar Macbook Pro. I can replace them myself. Apple says they'll replace the entire keyboard for ~$500, that's it. Although I usually side with Apple on their consumer policy stuff, I'm a bit sore on this thing.
    If you can do it yourself then why are you sore at Apple? And how are your keys bad in just a handful of months?
    netmage
  • Reply 9 of 55
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    I'm somewhere in the middle with this.... I own two BMW motorcycles and it just irks the f**k out of me that BMW charges literally thousands of dollars for parts that would cost only a few hundred on a Japanese bike, and - like Apple - one cannot get those parts in the 3rd-party world, and not even from the OEM manufacturer that supplies that part to BMW.  They essentially have a lock on parts.

    I think it similar with Apple, but with a caveat though... I can easily see people/shops damaging something in the process of saving a few bucks, then turn right around and expect Apple to replace their iPhone.  There are just too many people that will take any opportunity to take screw Apple, or better yet post their whine on Twitter - edited for context of course - to make it sound like Apple is the big bad wolf here.

    Will be interesting to see this being played out.

    baconstangcornchip
  • Reply 10 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,674member
    sflocal said:
    I'm somewhere in the middle with this.... I own two BMW motorcycles and it just irks the f**k out of me that BMW charges literally thousands of dollars for parts that would cost only a few hundred on a Japanese bike, and - like Apple - one cannot get those parts in the 3rd-party world, and not even from the OEM manufacturer that supplies that part to BMW.  They essentially have a lock on parts.

    I think it similar with Apple, but with a caveat though... I can easily see people/shops damaging something in the process of saving a few bucks, then turn right around and expect Apple to replace their iPhone.  There are just too many people that will take any opportunity to take screw Apple, or better yet post their whine on Twitter - edited for context of course - to make it sound like Apple is the big bad wolf here.

    Will be interesting to see this being played out.

    There are OEM and non-OEM parts available. I'm having someone mail me a 5S with a broken display so I can replace it this weekend. Less than $40 for the component, and I already have the tools so I'm good to go, which makes it less expensive than Apple, even when adding shipping costs, but I don't think their $129 cost is unreasonable.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 11 of 55
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,692member
    This is the kind of thing that looks intelligent, but in fact is utterly moronic.
    People have no clue how the internals of these things are packed...
    They want it all, a slab of supercomputer/phone/tv/dvr/pc/camera/etc in 7mm and want to make it easy to fix too!!

    These are incompatible goals.
    radarthekatpscooter63baconstang
  • Reply 12 of 55
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,692member
    Soli said:
    sflocal said:
    I'm somewhere in the middle with this.... I own two BMW motorcycles and it just irks the f**k out of me that BMW charges literally thousands of dollars for parts that would cost only a few hundred on a Japanese bike, and - like Apple - one cannot get those parts in the 3rd-party world, and not even from the OEM manufacturer that supplies that part to BMW.  They essentially have a lock on parts.

    I think it similar with Apple, but with a caveat though... I can easily see people/shops damaging something in the process of saving a few bucks, then turn right around and expect Apple to replace their iPhone.  There are just too many people that will take any opportunity to take screw Apple, or better yet post their whine on Twitter - edited for context of course - to make it sound like Apple is the big bad wolf here.

    Will be interesting to see this being played out.

    There are OEM and non-OEM parts available. I'm having someone mail me a 5S with a broken display so I can replace it this weekend. Less than $40 for the component, and I already have the tools so I'm good to go, which makes it less expensive than Apple, even when adding shipping costs, but I don't think their $129 cost is unreasonable.
    And when someone craps out something, which happens in a hell of a lot of case even in shops, people will come and cry to Apple.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,674member
    foggyhill said:
    Soli said:
    sflocal said:
    I'm somewhere in the middle with this.... I own two BMW motorcycles and it just irks the f**k out of me that BMW charges literally thousands of dollars for parts that would cost only a few hundred on a Japanese bike, and - like Apple - one cannot get those parts in the 3rd-party world, and not even from the OEM manufacturer that supplies that part to BMW.  They essentially have a lock on parts.

    I think it similar with Apple, but with a caveat though... I can easily see people/shops damaging something in the process of saving a few bucks, then turn right around and expect Apple to replace their iPhone.  There are just too many people that will take any opportunity to take screw Apple, or better yet post their whine on Twitter - edited for context of course - to make it sound like Apple is the big bad wolf here.

    Will be interesting to see this being played out.

    There are OEM and non-OEM parts available. I'm having someone mail me a 5S with a broken display so I can replace it this weekend. Less than $40 for the component, and I already have the tools so I'm good to go, which makes it less expensive than Apple, even when adding shipping costs, but I don't think their $129 cost is unreasonable.
    And when someone craps out something, which happens in a hell of a lot of case even in shops, people will come and cry to Apple.
    They will, and unfortunately that costs money so Apple has to figure into repair costs into their repairs and possibly even into their device prices, like they do with potential lawsuits for various stupid things with any given product.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 14 of 55
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 557member
    One of the many important reasons why these companies must have lobbyists or they end up getting steamrolled in Washington. Sorry, folks. That's how these things work.
    You mean Albany not Washington, I guess you said Washington out of habit right?
    baconstang
  • Reply 15 of 55
    metrixmetrix Posts: 204member
    Look if everyone and there brother start buying cheap replacement parts from China and trying to make repairs themselves I can assure you that their iPhones will stop working very quickly and Apple will end up dealing with that mess. The connections are so small and fragile really only skilled technicians should be repairing iPhones. Laptops aren't so bad to make simple repairs or SSD replacements.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    sflocal said:
    I'm somewhere in the middle with this.... I own two BMW motorcycles and it just irks the f**k out of me that BMW charges literally thousands of dollars for parts that would cost only a few hundred on a Japanese bike, and - like Apple - one cannot get those parts in the 3rd-party world, and not even from the OEM manufacturer that supplies that part to BMW.  They essentially have a lock on parts.

    I think it similar with Apple, but with a caveat though... I can easily see people/shops damaging something in the process of saving a few bucks, then turn right around and expect Apple to replace their iPhone.  There are just too many people that will take any opportunity to take screw Apple, or better yet post their whine on Twitter - edited for context of course - to make it sound like Apple is the big bad wolf here.

    Will be interesting to see this being played out.


    Which parts can't you get for your BMW?

    I'm generally against Right to Repair acts, but they do kinda make sense for automobiles. Though they're not really needed as there's a very healthy aftermarket parts supply system in place for just about every vehicle out there (save for some exotics or high-end luxury cars).
  • Reply 17 of 55
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,008member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I seriously question that Apple makes a significant amount on repairs.
    I have a few friends that had virtually every major component in their MBPs replaced for something like $320, including next day shipping.
    I need new up and down arrow keys for my Touch Bar Macbook Pro. I can replace them myself. Apple says they'll replace the entire keyboard for ~$500, that's it. Although I usually side with Apple on their consumer policy stuff, I'm a bit sore on this thing.
    Um, what? The Touchbar MBP is less than a year old, meaning it's still under warranty, which definitely covers the keyboard. If they're defective or worn out Apple will address that at no cost. Also, if they are indeed worn out, God knows how you're using them, as I heavily use mine on my 2014 MBP for hours a day and they're still perfect. Your comment makes little sense.
    edited May 2017 pscooter63dysamoriabaconstangredgeminipajax44randominternetpersonnetmageicoco3
  • Reply 18 of 55
    goldenclawgoldenclaw Posts: 253member
    I call this the "Louis Rossmann Bill". He's a popular YouTuber doing electronics repair who bashes Apple and works on Apple products, but refuses to get certified.

    My stance is that electronics solder reworking, auto repair, etc. are skills easily teachable in CTE programs. People coming out of the military or straight out of high school can all pick it up. This is an important fight in the battle against planned obsolescence. 

    That being said, I get the point with qualified individuals performing work. However, this is stuff that's out of warranty, out of warranty scope, or that Apple is charging an arm and a leg for a complete logic board replacement when it's a faulty capacitor.



    elijahgdysamoriaavon b7muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 55
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 592member
    I think this bill should be modified to include a clause whereby it only applies to items out of warranty, since self-repairs are then solely the responsibility of the owner. At the moment it's impossible to get hold of genuine spare parts for Apple stuff. Otherwise people will screw up their own repairs and expect Apple to fix their mistakes.

    That said, I suspect 99% of people would have Apple repair their device if it was in warranty rather than risk it themselves. I'm perfectly capable (and have) repaired my and others iDevices; but if in warranty, I always take it to Apple.
    edited May 2017 dysamoria
  • Reply 20 of 55
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    sflocal said:
    I'm somewhere in the middle with this.... I own two BMW motorcycles and it just irks the f**k out of me that BMW charges literally thousands of dollars for parts that would cost only a few hundred on a Japanese bike, and - like Apple - one cannot get those parts in the 3rd-party world, and not even from the OEM manufacturer that supplies that part to BMW.  They essentially have a lock on parts.

    I think it similar with Apple, but with a caveat though... I can easily see people/shops damaging something in the process of saving a few bucks, then turn right around and expect Apple to replace their iPhone.  There are just too many people that will take any opportunity to take screw Apple, or better yet post their whine on Twitter - edited for context of course - to make it sound like Apple is the big bad wolf here.

    Will be interesting to see this being played out.


    Which parts can't you get for your BMW?

    I'm generally against Right to Repair acts, but they do kinda make sense for automobiles. Though they're not really needed as there's a very healthy aftermarket parts supply system in place for just about every vehicle out there (save for some exotics or high-end luxury cars).
    ABS module, and fornt/rear shot for the K1200S bike for example....  No OEM, an in the case of the shocks, they are not rebuildable and because the are part of the electronic-assist suspension, BMW charges $3,500 just for the rears shock alone and the company that makes the shock won't sell individually.  

    Those are just two examples.  For some strange reason, BMW appears to not allow 3rd-parties (including the actual manufacturers) to make the replacement pieces.

    I'm not referring to automobiles.  BMW cars certainly need to have a healthy aftermarket of parts due to the never-ending repairs their cars have to go through.

    The iPhones though are different.  I grew up fixing motors.  I have no problem fixing my motorcycles.  iPhones though... I'm a software engineer and even with my skill level at fixing things, even I would hesitate to open up and repair something as complex and intricate as an iPhone.  

    How many times have we read about iPhones catching fire and the user crying foul on Apple, only to find out it was a 3rd-party cable/charger, or unauthorized repair shop that contributed to it?  I can see why Apple doesn't want that kind of exposure.
    edited May 2017 pscooter63
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