Apple Inc. has agreed to provide some tools and components so that owners can fix their own phones, bowing to criticism from consumer organizations, politicians in more than half of the states, and Vice President Joe Biden.
The business stated that the self-repair tools and parts will be available first for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, with Mac computers following early next year.
The Apple announcement is a wonderful starting step, but advocates say the self-repair movement has a long way to go. In most states, they are proposing legislation that would cover not only phones, but also farm equipment, medical gadgets, and, in many cases, a wide spectrum of electronic items.
In an emailed statement, Nathan Proctor, senior right to repair director for U.S. PIRG, stated, “The new program isn’t as extensive as the Right to Repair measures considered in more than two dozen state legislatures this year would be.” “Based on current available information, Apple retains a significant amount of proprietary control over device repairs, however additional specifics are coming.”
“Our alliance of tinkerers, fixers, repair shops, DIYers, consumer and environmental advocates has forced one of the world’s largest firms to change for the better,” he noted in another email. It’s good for repair shops, good for consumers, and good for the environment.”
Critics of Apple’s action claim that it is a minor step at best, and that it may result in additional revenue for the corporation when owners’ attempts at repair fail and they are forced to send their phones to Apple stores regardless.
“Most people are unwilling to repair their own phones. “This will appeal to a tiny but vociferous segment of Apple’s most technically savvy users,” said Gene Munster, a tech analyst and managing partner at Loup Ventures.
Apple’s action may have been prompted by pressure from Biden and the states, according to Munster in an email. “Apple made this decision because they perceive an opportunity to better serve its customers,” he added.
iFixit, a website that teaches people how to mend their own phones, claims that its videos and instructions have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times online.
The repair movement has gained additional momentum as a result of the pandemic, as internet connectivity has become increasingly important for home workers and remote students.