California to introduce 'right to repair' bill, joins 17 other states in consumer initiati...

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California on Wednesday became the latest state to ready so-called "right to repair" legislation that would require companies like Apple to provide consumers and third-party repair outlets access to repair information, diagnostic equipment and parts.




California State Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman has announced intent to introduce a California Right to Repair Act, joining a cadre of 17 other states with similar legislation on the table.

"The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence," Eggman said.

She goes on to argue that customers unable to pay high-priced manufacturer repairs are forced to replace broken equipment like smartphones, TVs and home appliances. How consumers are able to afford device replacements and not repairs, which are are in most cases less expensive, was not explained in the release.

Further, repairing and reusing electronic devices is more efficient use of source materials, Eggman said, adding that such measures can "stimulate local economies instead of unsustainable overseas factories."

Eggman's announcement was touted by third-party repair firm iFixit in its own press release mailed out to press on Wednesday.

Apple, one of the main targets of "right to repair" bills, has in the past voiced opposition to such government action, arguing the legislation would expose industry secrets and could create security and safety issues for existing customers. The company contends its products should only be serviced by qualified technicians, a stance that irks third-party repair firms.

Conducting repairs through authorized outlets like Apple stores and vetted shops provides customers with a consistent experience, while an authorized repair network helps the company control and protect its various hardware platforms, Apple has said.

Proponents of right to repair claim companies like Apple are merely interested in cornering the lucrative repair market. Some expect bills like Eggman's forthcoming California action to present consumers with more choice, thereby lowering out-of-pocket costs.

Interestingly, in lobbying a similar right to repair effort in Nebraska last year, Apple admitted it would not oppose the legislation if phones were excepted from the proposed bill.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,988member
    I’m all for being able to repair my own computers but there comes a point where it takes too many specialized and expensive tools to repair these devices. Apple could make awkward devices that are easy to repair but that is so last century (sorry). A mobile phone shouldn’t be able to be easily repaired because it’s better to put everything on as few chips as possible with as few moving parts so it just works. Try reseating an antenna connector on an iPhone only to watch it flatten out and need to be replaced. That isn’t planned obsolescence it’s micro manufacturing. 
    Soliroundaboutnowmagman1979baconstangracerhomie3lkruppairnerdjony0
  • Reply 2 of 41
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 339member
    This raises the question of which jurisdictions already implement this. Why isn’t this information in the article?

    It also makes me wonder if a company like Apple would have to comply if they decided not to sell iPhones in California anymore. 

    Does the California law require Apple to reveal trade secrets if they are necessary to provide third party support?
    h2p
  • Reply 3 of 41
    rob53 said:
    I’m all for being able to repair my own computers but there comes a point where it takes too many specialized and expensive tools to repair these devices. Apple could make awkward devices that are easy to repair but that is so last century (sorry). A mobile phone shouldn’t be able to be easily repaired because it’s better to put everything on as few chips as possible with as few moving parts so it just works. Try reseating an antenna connector on an iPhone only to watch it flatten out and need to be replaced. That isn’t planned obsolescence it’s micro manufacturing. 
    Fact is, phones, TVs*, and home appliances are already repairable to a certain extent, if one considers the major sub-assemblies that are already being sourced and repaired by 3rd parties. I'm sure iFixit would love to have every component socketed, and nothing glued or soldered, but where does one draw the line to consider a device "repairable?"

    Home appliances are one thing, but highly integrated miniature devices like phones are just by nature going to require specialized and expensive tools to repair them--after all, that's what it takes to assemble them! If higher integration results in greater reliability so repairs are rarely needed, I would say that would be a better way to go.

    *Actually with TVs, I wonder how practical it would be for any 3rd party to source spares across such a broad range of product, given that there are so many freaking models out there, and so many model changes from year to year.


    magman1979baconstangh2pjony0
  • Reply 4 of 41
    bshankbshank Posts: 155member
    Third party, shoddy repairs already exist. Anyone who’s gone through one of those repairs knows it’s a better idea to go through Apple
    magman1979mac_dogmacxpressjony0
  • Reply 5 of 41
    kudukudu Posts: 31member
    With a non-oem replacement part for a cracked iPhone screen, how is Apple’s hardware and software optimisation then possible? I’ll never allow some random part into my phone, AppleCare Plus is still the way to go for me. 
    magman1979mac_dogGeorgeBMacjony0
  • Reply 6 of 41
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 221member
    This is a well-intentioned bill but unfortunately misguided. Technicians repairing Apple devices in a substandard way will reflect badly on Apple’s user experience, and Apple being forced to assist in that is ridiculous. Additionally, Apple being required to release detailed information about proper assembly and repairs could most certainly reveal industry secrets they have spent a lot of resources developing.
    magman1979rob53holysmokesmac_dogYvLyh2pjony0
  • Reply 7 of 41
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,110member
    bshank said:
    Third party, shoddy repairs already exist. Anyone who’s gone through one of those repairs knows it’s a better idea to go through Apple
    Shhhh, don't say that to your congressmen / women, they don't like being presented with actual facts and reality!
    holysmokesmac_dogmacxpressjony0
  • Reply 8 of 41
    d_2d_2 Posts: 55member
    This is rubbish - I don’t want or need to repair my iPhone - and are they pushing every other mfg to do the same with every other piece of tech?

    and - good luck “repairing” any (super thin) OLED TV at home - I feel damn lucky I didn’t crack the glass just mounting it 
  • Reply 9 of 41
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,063member
    Recently needed a screen repair on an iMac and Apple was cheaper than the 3rd party quote. just sayin'.
    jony0
  • Reply 10 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,988member
    d_2 said:
    This is rubbish - I don’t want or need to repair my iPhone - and are they pushing every other mfg to do the same with every other piece of tech?

    and - good luck “repairing” any (super thin) OLED TV at home - I feel damn lucky I didn’t crack the glass just mounting it 
    This has to do with more than just Apple products but Apple always gets the negative comments because they're the largest and most obvious company to go after. I've been replacing a few iPhone batteries lately but I won't touch anything other than batteries if they have TouchID. The newer iPhones have a sealing gasket that is very small but needs to be put back in properly. Anything else on the newer iPhones risks major injury without lots of experience by the repair person and spare parts when you mess up.

    I do very little on my 2013 truck since you need a computer degree and $100K worth of test equipment to do anything. I just replaced my radio with an Alpine iLX-107 with wireless CarPlay and I couldn't believe the number of wires I had to locate and splice (even with Crutchfield's harnesses) much less the trouble I had cramming everything back in. I (think I) got everything connected properly but I hope I never have to pull anything out again. Service manuals (legally obtained) can easily cost more than $100, which is something this legislation will require greater availability of. I doubt car manufacturers will want to expand on these along with legitimate parts that don't cost as much as a new vehicle to comply.
    randominternetpersonh2p
  • Reply 11 of 41
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 860member
    This would be a great way for Samsung to Get even more insight into Apple's production techniques and secrets they are seeing less and less as Apple moves away from them. I bet they would pay big money like their CEO was  convicted off to politicians will to get this info for them via legislation. 

    h2p
  • Reply 12 of 41
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,167member
    On devices where personal security is not an issue, I'm all for right of repair. The problems that could emerge from forced repairability for third-parties are myriad and troubling: bitcoin miners open shops to install backdoors on your computer ... Russian- or China-funded stores that offer discounted repairs but replace the encryption standards with a hackable one ... NSA front operations that use your authorization to repair to insert monitoring spyware ... the list goes on and on. People just don't think this stuff through anymore, sadly ...
  • Reply 13 of 41
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 704member
    After a 31-minute call with Apple just to confirm that they would replace my battery for $29 at my scheduled Genius Bar appointment, three separate trips to the nearest Apple store in terrible weather (20 minutes each way, so a total of two hours trudging through snow and icy New York sidewalks) and a total of more than an hour and forty minutes in the store talking to various store reps and standing around the store (because they were busy and running way behind schedule—and this doesn’t count the three hours that I waited without my phone while they were supposed to be working on it), the store informed me that they wouldn’t replace my iPhone battery after all because the water indicator was red, the result of a brief fresh-water mishap 18 months ago that left no other discernible trace. They couldn’t explain why this was a dealbreaker. Then they warned me not to have anyone else do it, because it would make my phone ineligible for future Apple Store repairs. 

    So I pointed out to the guy that I had little to lose, since they wouldn’t even replace my battery for money, and I replaced the damn thing myself with a battery from iFixit. 

    In theory, it seems nice to have Apple do it, but it’s also good to have options. 
    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingamatomic101h2p
  • Reply 14 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    genovelle said:
    This would be a great way for Samsung to Get even more insight into Apple's production techniques and secrets they are seeing less and less as Apple moves away from them. I bet they would pay big money like their CEO was  convicted off to politicians will to get this info for them via legislation. 
    I don't see how offering some basic user replacement guides, like replacing the battery or a broken screen (which iFixit already does a teardown the day the device is on sale) more effective than Samsung buying the device in question and tearing it down themselves.
    iSalmanPakmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 41
    I am with Apple on this one.If you don’t like their way of doing things , get a cheap shitty android phone , which has no back part.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    Once again, Apple is in a no-win situation here. For Apple to comply, they'd have to drastically change their manufacturing process and design of their parts, which will have a huge impact on their quality control. Also, this will allow for a market for third-party parts, which will inevitably be of lesser, if not questionable, quality and reliability. And if a lesser quality part breaks other components or the product's usability, it won't be the third-party that will be blamed, it will be Apple.
    But, even more importantly, opening up iPhones and iPads to third-party repair shops and parts will have a huge negative impact on security. Apple has security and privacy at their core of their product design philosophy; third-parties will be less concerned about that. Or worse, some may (and likely will) try to take advantage of their physical access to your iPhone or iPad to either plant spyware, or glean information about you, which they can use to their advantage, or sell to someone else.
    Of course, whenever Apple makes these arguments, they are portrayed as demagogues who are just trying to control every aspect of their ecosystem. *SMH*
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 17 of 41
    nekton234nekton234 Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Clearly the majority of posters here have never looked inside an iPhone, Mac or other smartphone/computer for that matter.  
    Most all are relatively easy to disassemble with a few decent tools if you can read an instructions guide at iFixit.
    The hard part is getting quality Apple parts and this bill will require Apple and others to supply those parts.
    Nobody is stopping you taking your equipment to Apple for repair but this bill gives people who know the sharp end of a driver an easier way to fix what they own.
    Only one of the 5 iPhones and 4 Macs in this house was bought new. The rest are fixed broken S/H units (and kept out of landfill) using the ability to read and use tools.
    And remember, the Foxconn production lines building iPhones and Macs are staffed by people who were planting rice paddy 2 months before they joined Foxconn, so if they can be trained, why can't a third-party repair person learn those same skills?
    Drinking Apple's koolaid just keeps you in their upgrade-every-2-years thrall and a lot poorer as a result.
    atomic101muthuk_vanalingamholmstockdh2pfeudalist
  • Reply 18 of 41
    normmnormm Posts: 545member
    nekton234 said:
    Clearly the majority of posters here have never looked inside an iPhone, Mac or other smartphone/computer for that matter.  
    Most all are relatively easy to disassemble with a few decent tools if you can read an instructions guide at iFixit.
    The hard part is getting quality Apple parts and this bill will require Apple and others to supply those parts.
    Nobody is stopping you taking your equipment to Apple for repair but this bill gives people who know the sharp end of a driver an easier way to fix what they own.
    Only one of the 5 iPhones and 4 Macs in this house was bought new. The rest are fixed broken S/H units (and kept out of landfill) using the ability to read and use tools.
    And remember, the Foxconn production lines building iPhones and Macs are staffed by people who were planting rice paddy 2 months before they joined Foxconn, so if they can be trained, why can't a third-party repair person learn those same skills?
    Drinking Apple's koolaid just keeps you in their upgrade-every-2-years thrall and a lot poorer as a result.
    The current iPhones are designed to be able to have the display and battery replaced, and third parties can do that. The trend, though, is towards monolithic micro-fabrication using automated hardware that only large corporations possess.  There is already a lot of advanced robotics involved in the assembly process.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 19 of 41
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,429member
    I saw an interesting show a few days ago that discussed the original intent of the "Right to Repair" act.  Coming from Nebraska, it's intent was to allow farmers access to diagnostic software/equipment in order to diagnose and perform crucial repairs and maintenance on gigantic John Deere farm equipment.  As it stood, if a giant harvester breaks down, a farmer has to load the harvester on a flatbed and deliver it to a John Deere repair facility which could be hundreds of miles away, and take days if not weeks to perform the repairs, denying them the ability to farm during what can be a very short window of time in the season for a particular crop.

    The Nebraska meeting ended up being attended my Apple and Microsoft which fought the bill, since it could technically apply to them as well.

    It's interesting and complicated.  For farm equipment, I can totally understand the farmer's desire for right to repair.  It's stupid to deliver a 10-ton tractor possibly out of state on the farmer's dime in order to get something fixed.  For highly-specialized and at times, dangerous products like iPhones, I can see Apple's point of view.
    avon b7airnerdrandominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingamh2p
  • Reply 20 of 41
    croprcropr Posts: 904member
    bshank said:
    Third party, shoddy repairs already exist. Anyone who’s gone through one of those repairs knows it’s a better idea to go through Apple
    Quite arrogant to suggest that the third party repair centers are shoddy.  
    My nearest Apple store is 2 hours driving, while I have an excellent repair shop in the neighbourhood, that has repaired several laptops and phones for my company in the past.  And it did it quite professionally.  I am pretty sure that my local repair shop could do an excellent iPhone repair (which it does not for the moment) if it got access to the right components.
    So the choice for me is not about price or quality but about convenience.

    edited March 2018 airnerdmuthuk_vanalingamh2p
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