Apple finally gives in to ‘right to repair’ movement, allows users to self-repair iPhones, Macs

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 18, 2021, 10:07 AM(IST)

Apple said the self-repair rule will first apply to users of iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 and it will soon be followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips.  Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The change of heart from the tech company comes after pressure from the Biden administration and the activists from the ‘right to repair’ movement, who have been advocating for the right of consumers to be able to repair their own electronics and other products

Apple Inc has allowed some of its users to self-repair their iPhones and Mac computers, finally ditching its controversial move which allowed only its approved technicians from handling its devices and software.

“Available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, and soon to be followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips, Self Service Repair will be available early next year in the US and expand to additional countries throughout 2022. Customers join more than 5,000 Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs) and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers who have access to these parts, tools, and manuals,” the company said in a statement.

The change of heart from the tech company comes after pressure from the Biden administration and the activists from the ‘right to repair’ movement, who have been advocating for the right of consumers to be able to repair their own electronics and other products.

The decision would likely deal a major blow to other large tech companies, Microsoft, Amazon and Tesla, who have been lobbying against the right to repair.

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Their argument is that opening up their intellectual property to third party repair services could lead to exploitation and impact the safety and security of their devices.

Apple said that the initial phase of the program will focus on the most commonly serviced modules, such as the iPhone display, battery, and camera.

“The ability for additional repairs will be available later next year,” it said in a statement.

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Apple said it will launch an online store for self-service repairs early next year which will have more than 200 individual parts and tools for making the most common repairs on the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13.

Earlier in July, US President Joe Biden had signed an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission to curb restrictions imposed by manufacturers that limit consumers’ ability to repair their gadgets on their own terms.

The UK, too, had introduced right-to-repair rules, making it much easier for consumers to buy and repair daily-use gadgets such as TVs and washing machines.

(With inputs from agencies)

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