Shareholder resolution potentially pushed Apple to announce Self Service Repair

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2021
A recently filed shareholder resolution calling for Apple to reverse its "anti-repair practices" could have been a key factor in the tech giant's surprise decision to launch a "Self Service Repair" program.

iPhone 13 mini Teardown


Announced on Wednesday, the new initiative ostensibly allows customers to perform certain repairs on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 devices, with plans to expand support to Macs with M1 chips.

The move, a turnabout from longstanding corporate policy that argued device repairs are too dangerous for general consumers, was met with cautious jubilation from repair experts and right-to-repair advocates. As noted by The Verge, however, the announcement arrives at a critical time for Apple, which has been battling state-level independent repair legislation and federal regulations designed to reinvigorate competition in the repair market.

While Apple's ultimate decision to launch Self Service Repair likely arose from a confluence of factors, the timing of today's bulletin appears to be in response to a shareholder resolution filed in September.

U.S. PIRG and affiliated mutual fund company Green Century Capital Funds called on Apple to reverse course on "anti-competitive repair policies." The resolution took issue with the tech giant's comprehensive lobbying campaign against right-to-repair measures, saying the company's position on the matter runs contrary to its corporate sustainability promises.

"Consumers want to reduce their own carbon footprints by fixing their electronics, and Apple must help them get there," Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich said at the time. "It's what's best for the company, its consumers and the planet."

For its part, Apple maintains independent and out-of-network repairs pose risks to consumer safety and security.

Apple attempted to block the resolution by lodging a no-action request with the Securities and Exchange Commission in October, reports The Verge. The company argued that Green Century's bid to have Apple draw up a report on the environmental and societal impact of device repair policies impinged on normal business operations and was therefore in violation of the SEC's guidance on shareholder proposals.

The SEC in November issued new guidance on no-action requests that allows for exceptions when a proposal raises "significant social policy issues." Green Century advocate Annalisa Tarizzo told the publication that the change shifted the dynamic of the conversation in its favor.

"It wasn't a guarantee that the SEC would side with us, but the new guidance indicates it's very likely we would prevail," Tarizzo said. "It effectively took away a lot of Apple's leverage in the process."

Green Century was scheduled to respond to the no-action request today, but instead opted to withdraw the resolution after Apple's introduction. The new program ticks many of the boxes Green Century sought to address.

Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy declined to comment on whether the shareholder proposal played a role in todays' announcement, saying only that Self Service Repair "has been in development for well over a year."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    ...I am reminded of the phrase 'we are not evil'... Has it come to the point where customers are now reliant on external pressure to force Apple to make computers 'for the rest of us'...?
    williamlondonlkruppelijahg
  • Reply 2 of 16
    And with one fell swoop, Apple mortally wounds the third-party battery market, and the poorly installed ones that overheat and catch fire.
    From a legal perspective, they can now claim that if it ain't factory sealed, it ain't there problem.  Sue someone else!
    edited November 2021 elijahg
  • Reply 3 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,988member
    And with one fell swoop, Apple mortally wounds the third-party battery market, and the poorly installed ones that overheat and catch fire.
    From a legal perspective, they can now claim that if it ain't factory sealed, it ain't there problem.  Sue someone else!
    Translation? You get what you pay for.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,988member
    As for me, I always vote against shareholder resolutions. The vast, vast majority of them are proposed by activist shareholders with an axe to grind against the targeted company.
    williamlondonrepressthisJanNL
  • Reply 5 of 16
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,906member
    Can't wait for the first self-repair person to sue Apple because their iPhone didn't work after they repaired it themselves. Anyone who tries to repair an Apple device on their own, even using Apple parts and tools, does so at their own risk. There's no way Apple can be help responsible for consumers repairing their own equipment. It's like suing a grocery store for a bad meal simply because you bought the ingredients, pots and pans, and recipe from them. 
    williamlondonrepressthis
  • Reply 6 of 16
    “Self Repair” with caveats. This is not for the average person with no technical experience or capability. It is more like the authorized repair center program that Apple has. 

    They will provide the technical resources needed to do the repairs, but there will be costs and possibly certification needed to qualify for the program.  

    Here is what Apple already has for corporations and institutions (from their website):

    Self-Servicing Account Program

    Apple's Self-Servicing Account (SSA) program is designed for institutions and businesses that would like the convenience of repairing their own products. Qualifying organizations can gain access to Apple genuine parts, tools, training, service guides, diagnostics, and resources to perform these repairs.

    Who can apply?

    Institutions and businesses in the United States, with a minimum install base of 1,000 Apple devices, interested in performing repairs on units they own or lease may apply.

  • Reply 7 of 16
    I guess the 'beholden to the shareholders' sword swings both ways...
  • Reply 8 of 16
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,586member
    rob53 said:
    Can't wait for the first self-repair person to sue Apple because their iPhone didn't work after they repaired it themselves. Anyone who tries to repair an Apple device on their own, even using Apple parts and tools, does so at their own risk. There's no way Apple can be help responsible for consumers repairing their own equipment. It's like suing a grocery store for a bad meal simply because you bought the ingredients, pots and pans, and recipe from them. 
    Just like swathes of the population who sue GM/Ford/Chevrolet/Porsche/etc every time a cheap tyre they had a third party garage put on their car blows up and causes an accident? Wait, swathes means none, right?
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtretrogustocrowleycuriousrun8
  • Reply 9 of 16
    elijahg said:
    rob53 said:
    Can't wait for the first self-repair person to sue Apple because their iPhone didn't work after they repaired it themselves. Anyone who tries to repair an Apple device on their own, even using Apple parts and tools, does so at their own risk. There's no way Apple can be help responsible for consumers repairing their own equipment. It's like suing a grocery store for a bad meal simply because you bought the ingredients, pots and pans, and recipe from them. 
    Just like swathes of the population who sue GM/Ford/Chevrolet/Porsche/etc every time a cheap tyre they had a third party garage put on their car blows up and causes an accident? Wait, swathes means none, right?
    Bingo!

    Nobody is going to be suing Apple for repairs they botched themselves, unless they can prove that Apple failed to provide proper instruction, etc. on how to do it.  Given that it's Apple, I find that situation highly unlikely, as in a probability indistinguishable from zero.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgcrowleycuriousrun8
  • Reply 10 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,988member
    elijahg said:
    rob53 said:
    Can't wait for the first self-repair person to sue Apple because their iPhone didn't work after they repaired it themselves. Anyone who tries to repair an Apple device on their own, even using Apple parts and tools, does so at their own risk. There's no way Apple can be help responsible for consumers repairing their own equipment. It's like suing a grocery store for a bad meal simply because you bought the ingredients, pots and pans, and recipe from them. 
    Just like swathes of the population who sue GM/Ford/Chevrolet/Porsche/etc every time a cheap tyre they had a third party garage put on their car blows up and causes an accident? Wait, swathes means none, right?
    Bingo!

    Nobody is going to be suing Apple for repairs they botched themselves, unless they can prove that Apple failed to provide proper instruction, etc. on how to do it.  Given that it's Apple, I find that situation highly unlikely, as in a probability indistinguishable from zero.
    You clearly don’t understand the U.S. legal system where you can sue anyone for anything and win. Joe Sixpack tries to change the battery in his iPhone and winds up burning his trailer to the ground. In West Texas this is definitely Apple’s fault. /s
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Shareholder resolution led Apple to this? I don’t think so. 

    Biden issued an executive order in July requiring this, FTC staff approved it, and FTC commissioners voted in favor of it. 

    Everyone is going to be doing the same. We’re all perhaps making  a virtue out of a necessity. 
    edited November 2021 muthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 12 of 16
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,586member
    Shareholder resolution led Apple to this? I don’t think so. 

    Biden issued an executive order in July requiring this, FTC staff approved it, and FTC commissioners voted in favor of it. 

    Everyone is going to be doing the same. We’re all perhaps making  a virtue out of a necessity. 
    I think it’s more that Apple has capitulated and changed course, rather than stubbornly digging their heels in and fighting it as they have a reputation for doing. 
  • Reply 13 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,995member
    lkrupp said:
    elijahg said:
    rob53 said:
    Can't wait for the first self-repair person to sue Apple because their iPhone didn't work after they repaired it themselves. Anyone who tries to repair an Apple device on their own, even using Apple parts and tools, does so at their own risk. There's no way Apple can be help responsible for consumers repairing their own equipment. It's like suing a grocery store for a bad meal simply because you bought the ingredients, pots and pans, and recipe from them. 
    Just like swathes of the population who sue GM/Ford/Chevrolet/Porsche/etc every time a cheap tyre they had a third party garage put on their car blows up and causes an accident? Wait, swathes means none, right?
    Bingo!

    Nobody is going to be suing Apple for repairs they botched themselves, unless they can prove that Apple failed to provide proper instruction, etc. on how to do it.  Given that it's Apple, I find that situation highly unlikely, as in a probability indistinguishable from zero.
    You clearly don’t understand the U.S. legal system where you can sue anyone for anything and win. Joe Sixpack tries to change the battery in his iPhone and winds up burning his trailer to the ground. In West Texas this is definitely Apple’s fault. /s
    A hypothetical judgement on a hypothetical accident, with an added dollop of smug superiority.  No actual case cited, not even an anecdote, not convinced.  D-
    gatorguycuriousrun8
  • Reply 14 of 16
    lkrupp said:
    elijahg said:
    rob53 said:
    Can't wait for the first self-repair person to sue Apple because their iPhone didn't work after they repaired it themselves. Anyone who tries to repair an Apple device on their own, even using Apple parts and tools, does so at their own risk. There's no way Apple can be help responsible for consumers repairing their own equipment. It's like suing a grocery store for a bad meal simply because you bought the ingredients, pots and pans, and recipe from them. 
    Just like swathes of the population who sue GM/Ford/Chevrolet/Porsche/etc every time a cheap tyre they had a third party garage put on their car blows up and causes an accident? Wait, swathes means none, right?
    Bingo!

    Nobody is going to be suing Apple for repairs they botched themselves, unless they can prove that Apple failed to provide proper instruction, etc. on how to do it.  Given that it's Apple, I find that situation highly unlikely, as in a probability indistinguishable from zero.
    You clearly don’t understand the U.S. legal system where you can sue anyone for anything and win. Joe Sixpack tries to change the battery in his iPhone and winds up burning his trailer to the ground. In West Texas this is definitely Apple’s fault. /s
    I almost missed the "/s" on this one and had a scathing diatribe all ready. 😜
  • Reply 15 of 16
    I've been repairing my MacBooks for years. And I'm not a techy. But I know a lot of people who have tried and made a mess of their computers. It might work for some but not everybody. 
  • Reply 16 of 16
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,586member
    crowley said:
    lkrupp said:
    elijahg said:
    rob53 said:
    Can't wait for the first self-repair person to sue Apple because their iPhone didn't work after they repaired it themselves. Anyone who tries to repair an Apple device on their own, even using Apple parts and tools, does so at their own risk. There's no way Apple can be help responsible for consumers repairing their own equipment. It's like suing a grocery store for a bad meal simply because you bought the ingredients, pots and pans, and recipe from them. 
    Just like swathes of the population who sue GM/Ford/Chevrolet/Porsche/etc every time a cheap tyre they had a third party garage put on their car blows up and causes an accident? Wait, swathes means none, right?
    Bingo!

    Nobody is going to be suing Apple for repairs they botched themselves, unless they can prove that Apple failed to provide proper instruction, etc. on how to do it.  Given that it's Apple, I find that situation highly unlikely, as in a probability indistinguishable from zero.
    You clearly don’t understand the U.S. legal system where you can sue anyone for anything and win. Joe Sixpack tries to change the battery in his iPhone and winds up burning his trailer to the ground. In West Texas this is definitely Apple’s fault. /s
    A hypothetical judgement on a hypothetical accident, with an added dollop of smug superiority.  No actual case cited, not even an anecdote, not convinced.  D-
    Since there are apparently few or no examples of this actually happening, it’s just Ikrupp on one of his usual anti-customer rights tirades. Before Apple changed course he was saying how they would never do this for reasons, and yet here we are. Speaking as if he is a mouthpiece for Apple makes him look pretty ridiculous when the excuses he creates are blown out of the water overnight. No point in discussing with people like him. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
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