Amid ‘Right to Repair’ push, Apple makes some changes

The company is now designing phones that are easier to open and providing greater level of access to parts and tools. But advocates say their push isn’t over.

INDIANAPOLIS — We all know someone who’s done it (or done it ourselves): Cracked the glass on our iPhone. Well, in the past few months, Apple has started telling its customers that they can fix their own iPhone with the company’s new online Self Service Repair Store. It’s all part of a “Right to Repair” movement that’s been going on for the past five years. 

“People should be able to fix their stuff, and that’s what we’re about,” said Nathan Proctor, senior director of the Right to Repair campaign, which is working to pass legislation that will prevent companies from blocking consumers’ ability to fix their own electronics.

“It is a totally crazy situation that we have these $1,000 supercomputers, and then, we treat them as if they’re disposal,” Proctor said. “When you can fix something, it saves consumers a lot of money, and it’s a lot better for the environment. Companies like Apple have gone out of their way to restrict people’s ability to get the parts that they need or to lock the software in the phone, and that makes it harder and harder to fix those products.” 

In the past 12 months, it seems Proctor has gotten Apple’s ear. Earlier this year, the company started rolling out its “Self Service Repair” program.

“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” said Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams in a statement. “In the past three years, Apple has nearly doubled the number of service locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and training, and now we’re providing an option for those who wish to complete their own repairs.”

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