Apple and other IT companies are obviating consumers' right to repair gadgets

Apple and other IT companies are obviating consumers' right to repair gadgets ...

The way companies resist repairing gadgets "from the outside" is well-known. Some pre-create the device so that it cannot be repaired; others modify it so that the hardware fails after a repair, or that the performance declines after an upgrade.

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Apple made concessions and authorized the repair of smartphones with third-party displays in 2017, and in early 2019, began to repair iPhones with non-genuine batteries, established a program to repair iPhones that have ended their warranty period in independent service centers, and provided training for 265 thousand repairmen. Two years later, Apple announced that it would be providing components so iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 owners may have their displays, batteries, or cameras repaired.

Despite the fact that Apple sells parts and tools to individuals at an incredible expense, others claim that it can be cheaper to buy a new iPhone.

The right-to-repair movement has increased across the world, requiring companies to sell components and repair kits to independent shops and ordinary users. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Tesla have all campaigned against such a system, claiming that it would expose industry secrets, gain access to sensitive information, and jeopardize consumer safety.

The Right to Repair movement covers products from toasters to refrigerators, cars, motorcycles, and tractor trailers. John Deere has been one of the staunchest opponents of the Right to Repair Act in the United States, but is now willing to make some concessions. Deere & Company has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Federation of Farm Bureaus, providing official diagnostics, manuals, tools, and training.

Because to the dismal statistics on e-waste, legislators and businesses have more or less stepped up in the first place. (Electronic waste contains heavy metals and compounds, including arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium, which, if not properly treated, can expose communities to cancer and birth defects).

According to surveys conducted between June and September 2022 among 8,775 European households in six countries, each household contains on average 74 electronic devices, including phones, tablets, as well as household appliances such as toasters and hair dryers, which are on average 13 items, although they are not used.

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The manufacture of new devices, in turn, involves the extraction of raw materials and the use of substantial amounts of energy, which results in global warming impacting the manufacture of 40 to 80 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent, equivalent to driving a conventional automobile for 320 kilometers.

Manufacturers of washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and televisions must ensure that components can be replaced with inexpensive tools that consumers can readily use, according to European Union and UK laws. Apple, for example, gave its iPhone 12 Pro Max a 6 out of 10.

In 2021, US President Joe Biden asked federal officials to adopt measures prohibiting manufacturers from doing self- or third-party repair. Several states have since considered legislation requiring manufacturers to comply with their repair obligations, but most have been defeated. New York became the first state to adopt the relevant legislation in December.

Consumer advocates are already expressing frustration that some of the new regulations only benefit professional repairmen, because they do not guarantee repair rights for consumers and non-profits. In addition, legislation often emphasizes physical components rather than software.

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