Recently, Apple announced that it will provide parts, equipment, and instructions to allow anyone to repair their main products, including the iPhone and the Mac. What exactly will Apple be providing customers, why is this a major win for the “right to repair” movement, and how does the right to repair devices help the environment?
Apple, famous for many products, including the Apple I, Apple II, the Macintosh, and the iPhone, goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that its brand is untarnished and only associated with sleek artistic products. Despite the brilliance of their products, they are also known for their extremely anti-competitive practices concerning repair.
For example, some of their products introduce minor changes with new versions that don’t necessarily add functionality but instead prevent newer devices from being repaired using components from older versions. To make it more difficult to repair modern electronics, Apple seldom allows independent repair shops to purchase genuine Apple parts, such as semiconductors, that only cost a few cents each. In these circumstances, Apple will frequently perform an entire PCB replacement for many hundreds of pounds.
Despite many customers asking for more affordable repairs, Apple has always insisted that repairs are only carried out by Apple-approved repair centres. However, to the amazement and shock of many, Apple has announced that it will now allow customers to repair their own devices.
The new service, called Self Service Repair, will provide customers with the parts, tools, and instructions to perform repairs. These repairs can include screen replacement, camera replacement, and battery replacement, arguably the three most significant areas for device repair.
By providing customers with genuine Apple parts, Apple can ensure that they only use authorised parts while also providing a more cost-effective solution to device owners. Furthermore, supplying Apple parts also ensures that the operating system doesn’t behave unexpectedly, as many iPhone owners have experienced using third-party screens that do not include a chip needed to utilise FaceID.
While the “right to repair” movement as we know it today…