- Apple's letter support California's Right to Repair Act bill
- Business-friendly concessions likely secured Apple's support
- Repair resources and parts could be made available for seven years after warranty expires
- Non-authorized repair shops must inform users of source of parts
Apple is notoriously known for making independent repairs of its devices as hard as possible through the use of proprietary and serialized parts, but the company might be ready to soften its stance on the matter. Apple has recently issued a letter in support of California’s Right to Repair Act bill, reports TechCrunch.
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The bill, otherwise referred to in the California State Senate as SB 244, aims to codify independent repairs performed by consumers. The proposed legislation mandates that companies supply users with the resources necessary to diagnose and fix consumer electronics and appliances. Apple already has its own Self-Service Repair program, which expanded to include the iPhone 14 and recent MacBooks in June.
Apple supports SB 244 as it “includes requirements that protect individual users’ safety and security as well as product manufacturers’ intellectual property,” reads a section of its letter sent to California State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman.
Apple supports California’s Right to Repair Act so all Californians have even greater access to repairs while also protecting their safety, security, and privacy. We create our products to last and, if they ever need to be repaired, Apple customers have a growing range of safe, high-quality repair options.
Apple statement to TechCrunch
TechCrunch adds that Apple is so far the only major company to support SB 244, which if passed will require consumer electronics and some home appliances to be independently repairable by the average user.
Apple’s support for California’s Right to Repair Act demonstrates the power of the movement that has been building for years and the ability for industries to partner with us to make good policy to benefit the people of California. I’m grateful for their engagement on this issue and for leading among their peers when it comes to supporting access to repair.
iFixit reports that products falling within the price range of $50 to $99.99, must have their parts, tools, and documentation provided by their respective manufacturers in California for a duration of three years following the product’s final manufacturing date. In the case of products exceeding $99.99, repair resources must remain accessible for a period of seven years. These conditions are designed to prevent manufacturers from discontinuing product repair assistance immediately after the expiration of the product’s warranty period.
The number of manufacturers-friendly compromises included in SB 244 likely secured Apple’s support for the bill. For example, the bill includes a provision that exempts manufacturers from the obligation to provide tools, components, and documentation for any element that could potentially deactivate or bypass anti-theft security features, meaning that Apple could elect not to provide repair components for seemingly sensitive parts such as Face ID or Touch ID.
SB 244 also stipulates that non-authorized repair facilities must explicitly disclose whether they are employing replacement parts sourced from the original manufacturer or not. This implies that an independent California-based iPhone repair shop would need to either obtain parts directly from Apple or explicitly inform customers if the repair involves non-genuine or used components that are often pulled from other used devices.