Apple Inc. doesn’t love the idea of allowing just anyone to repair broken Apple products. The firm is lobbying to defeat a bill that will make it simpler and less expensive to fix an iPhone. A New York bill called the Fair Repair Act, if passed, would allow independent access to repairs, says a report from the Washington Post. Also, the bill would require the manufacturers to make the parts and repair details made public. Thus, a legality in one state will make available the information in rest of the country.
Bill favorable to users and independent technicians
New York’s right-to-repair legislation, which is still in its early stages of the state’s legislature, has made little progress. If the bill is not passed by the end of the month, it will die, the report says. The Huffington Post, who reviewed the document in public government filings, says that Apple Inc. lobbied to kill the bill.
The benefits of this bill – if passed – would go beyond the independent technicians. If passed, the bill could be a boon for the environment by reducing e-waste from disposed phones. This is a major reason why New York State Sen. Phil Boyle is supporting the bill as the bill will impact the consumer buying cycle as even minor repairs are too costly if done via official stores. Usually, such phones end up in the landfills. Even recycling of such devices is not easy as it depends on the access to the Apple device designs for easily disassembling and processing.
“The manufacturing impact of the electronic sector is huge,” says a repair advocate and founder of iFixi – Kyle Wiens. “If you’re going to go to all the effort and environmental impact to make a phone, let’s make it last for seven or 10 years. And it’s okay if it’s not necessarily used by the first owner for all that long, but let’s make it so that somebody can use it.” iFixit is a sort of online wiki repair guides and electronic parts store.
Apple quashing innovation
In response to the questions from The Washington Post, Apple linked to a company environmental report, which includes Apple’s e-waste efforts like a robot that helps in recycling Apple products. Also, the iPhone maker stressed that it wants its devices to use genuine parts and be taken care by verified technical know-how. Apple declined to comment when asked about its lobbying efforts.
Apple’s lobbying efforts are also quashing innovation, believes Wiens. Citing an example of an independent homemaker turned fixer guru – Jessa Jones, Wiens said she is able to perform more technical repairs than Apple Inc. even. “There’s a huge amount of innovation that kind of starts at the grass-roots community. She’s hanging out on the online forums, starts tinkering, starts doing some of it on her own. And now she’s at the forefront of data recovery,” Wiens said.
Jones now has her own repair shop at her hometown – Honeoye Falls, N.Y. Now, she also provides lessons on how to extract vacation photos from a phone damaged with water. Experts from popular data recovery firms now come to attend her board repair course, Jones said.