Apple’s new self-service repair program: What it means for you and your Apple devices


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Right to repair just might change the way we all look at products we break. Here’s what you need to know. 

Josh Miller/CNET

Apple said it will soon let you repair your iPhone at home. Advocates have pushed for companies like Apple to ease restrictions around letting consumers repair their own devices. In July, the Federal Trade Commission agreed on new rules that prevent companies from limiting customers from repairing their own products or having repairs done at a third-party shops. An executive order this summer issued by President Joe Biden and a policy statement from the Federal Trade Commission have placed pressure on tech companies to revisit their repair policies.

Biden’s executive order came after years of debate by advocates calling for “right to repair,” an initiative that in theory would force companies ranging from phone-makers, manufacturers of cars and washing machines to producers of pricey farm equipment and medical devices to offer the diagnostic tools and documentation they use to fix products when they break. This would allow everyday people to either fix the product themselves or go to a third-party repair shop, rather than rely on “official” authorized repair centers, which are often an expensive option.

Below are common questions about the concept of right to repair, what it means for you and what the government is doing to make right to repair a reality.  (This story has been updated with new information.)

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