Apple corrects course on Right to Repair

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Aaron Colonnese
Content Creator

Author: Aaron Colonnese

Content Creator

 

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., Brown University

Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.

We're excited to announce another major victory for our Right to Repair campaign: Apple is finally taking steps toward embracing DIY repair of its products.

Once one of the most visible opponents to repair access, Apple has now reversed its longstanding policy against making spare parts, repair instructions and repair software tools available to customers. The commitment is part of a new Self Service Repair program, and it comes just days after the company pledged to stop deactivating Face ID for iPhone screens repaired independently.

This win was made possible by years of advocacy and pressure from Right to Repair advocates — including 33,000 messages from PIRG supporters urging Apple to end its unfair repair policies.

Apple's move -- which coincides with a PIRG-backed shareholder resolution that our partners filed with the company — shows that what repair advocates have been asking for was always possible.

As iPhones and other devices have continued to dominate the consumer tech marketplace, manufacturers such as Apple have kept people buying new products — rather than refurbishing the ones they've got — in part by making it overly difficult or expensive to make even a minor fix to a device.

These repair restrictions hurt consumers and third-party repair businesses, and they directly contribute to the growing mountain of toxic electronic waste that's choking our planet.

For years, industry lobbyists have justified their practices by telling lawmakers that sharing access to parts, service tools and manuals would result in safety, security and intellectual property risks. But, as the Federal Trade Commission confirmed in a May 2021 report, these concerns are (and always were) overblown.

Now, our coalition of tinkerers, fixers, DIYers, repair shops, and consumer and environmental advocates has forced one of the world's biggest companies to change for the better. It's a win for consumers and the independent refurbishers they rely on, and it's a win for the planet.

As more and more manufacturers show that repair access is reasonable and doable, it should become clear to lawmakers that there are no more excuses. We'll continue our work in Congress and state legislatures across the country to convince decision-makers: It's time to give every American the Right to Repair, so everyone can fix all their products or take them to the repair shop of their choice. That's the way it should be.

Aaron Colonnese
Content Creator

Author: Aaron Colonnese

Content Creator

 

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., Brown University

Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.