Apple’s timid concession to the right to repair
Apple has published a statement this November announcing that it will make manuals, tools and spare parts available to users so that they can make their own repairs. Consumers will be able to repair their phones and computers by the beginning of 2022 in the United States, and by the end of the year in the European Union.
The Self Service Repair programme announced by Apple comes after years of lobbying by the US Federal Trade Commission, the European Union, and the Right to Repair platform. The news has been hailed as a small victory for consumers. Still, as the folks at iFixit, the electronics repair manual portal and a leading proponent of the Right to Repair, explain, the devil is in the details.
“Apple is modelling this self-repair service along the lines of its restrictive Independent Repair Provider (IRP) programme,” iFixit warns. That is, only new parts can be purchased directly from Apple, at Apple’s prices, and components from other devices or suppliers are not allowed to be used, thus removing any incentive to repair these devices outside of Apple’s official repair network.
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