Apple Supports National Right-to-Repair Bill
In a significant move, Apple has expressed its support for a US right-to-repair bill, aligning with President Joe Biden’s efforts to enhance competition and tackle practices that increase costs for consumers. Apple’s endorsement goes beyond mere words, as it pledges to provide independent repair shops and consumers across the nation with the necessary parts, tools, and documentation for fixing iPhones and computers. This step could potentially set a precedent for other companies to follow suit.
The Federal Trade Commission Chair, Lina Khan, has emphasized how restrictive practices in various industries not only raise costs for consumers but also hinder innovation, limit opportunities for independent repair shops, and contribute to unnecessary electronic waste. Apple’s support for federal legislation and its willingness to collaborate with independent repair shops marks a shift in the company’s approach. Apple has increasingly emphasized the longevity and resale value of its devices while actively working to improve repair accessibility and the availability of spare parts.
Apple’s Vice President for Service and Operations, Brian Naumann, believes that a national law should strike a balance between repairability and factors such as product integrity, usability, and physical safety. Lael Brainard, National Economic Council Director, has applauded Apple’s decision and urged Congress to enact national legislation. Several states, including California, Colorado, New York, and Minnesota, have already passed their own right-to-repair laws, with 30 others introducing similar legislation.
Brainard highlights the potential benefits of commitments from private companies like Apple, including reducing costs for consumers and curbing unnecessary waste in landfills. Allowing the repair of consumer electronics could save US consumers approximately $49.6 billion annually and significantly reduce the 7 million tons of electronic waste generated in the country each year, supporting small independent repair shops.
While Apple has been supplying spare parts to repair shops since 2019, the California bill also mandates the provision of diagnostic tools. Apple intends to adopt the same approach nationally as it does in California.