Apple supports Right to Repair now?

Apple performed a remarkable u-turn on Right to Repair recently. Instead of lobbying against the Right to Repair bill making its way through California’s legislature, it’s now switched sides and offered its endorsement. :exploding_head:

It’s a pretty stunning moment. But, as always with Apple, the devil lies in the detail. Rather than a ‘road to Damascus’ moment this seems to represent a change in strategy; if you can’t beat them, join them.

As noted in the articles below, the California bill enjoys broad support and was likely to pass regardless. It also sounds like Apple outlined a number of conditions for its support, seeking to somewhat undermine independent repairers and the use of used and 3rd party spare parts.

Apple’s letter also asked that the bill “focus on requiring manufacturers obligations to provide the documentation tools, and parts to enable the repairs performed by authorized repair channels, as opposed to a broader undefined scope of repairs.” Apple also wants repair providers to mention when they’re using “non-genuine or used” components.

The bill, as written, also requires non-authorized repairers to provide written notice of their lack of official vendor approval.

Elizabeth Chamberlain, director of sustainability at iFixit, told Ars Technica that while disclosing the use of third-party parts is reasonable, she’s concerned that it “supports unnecessary fear-mongering around used and third-party parts.”

“I also worry that lumping used and third-party parts together will contribute to further confusion. Apple’s ‘unable to verify’ warnings already blur the line between those categories,” she added.

It’s also well worth reading our friend Nathan Proctor’s response on behalf of US PIRG:

Though despite the caveats, this feels like a huge win for the repair movement! It’s the pressure from activists and repairers that’s made Right to Repair laws inevitable. And that in turn appears to have forced Apple to change its strategy.


More good news on this one. Last Friday, the bill also got over another hurdle, the Assembly Appropriations Committee and now can be voted on by the full Assembly, whose last session is September 14th.

As I mentioned on the :rotating_light: SHAMELESS PLUG WARNING :rotating_light: PC Pro Podcast, if it gets through the Assembly without cash changing hands opposition, then the Governor has to sign, so there shouldn’t be a mess-up like New York.



Good news, thanks Lee! Will give the podcast a listen too :wink:

Looks like this bill is now another big step closer to becoming law:

If you want to see the reality of Apple’s approach to repairability check out Louis Rossmann or Hugh Jeffreys.

Hugh’s latest video with two brand new iPhone 15 Pros clearly shows the problem

Short version is while they now supply parts, they are very expensive and require activation/calibration over the air by Apple that can take hours and may not always work. Otherwise they disable features.

Apple are loyal to their shareholders, not the environment. They will move slowly and reluctantly.

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This has now been signed in to law :tada:


Excellent cartoon in the Guardian today!