Right to Repair bill killed, do you think the iPhone is really 'too complex' to fix on your own?


Say what you will about trends, but when they get to California, and the Silicon Valley in particular, the stakes usually get sky high, and its landmark electronics repair legislation proposal is no different. Introduced by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes-Eggman, D-Stockton, the California Right to Repair Act seeks to mandate Apple and other gadget makers, to make their repair manuals and guidelines available to everyone - from users, to small independent repair shops. 

While the "Right to repair" movement was gaining steam here in the US, Apple, and the industry as a whole, weren't sitting still, and argued that it will be consumers that will suffer in the end from unauthorized fixers with dubious aftermarket parts. The fight has been waged abroad as well, for the surprise of one Henrik Huseby, owner of a small unauthorized iPhone repair shops in the great country of Norway.

We don't know what's with Apple's European lobbyists and lawyers, but they seem to be pretty actively seeking to gang up on seemingly unworthy victims, like German bike paths, coffee shops, and Norwegian repair centers. 

After getting a shipment of iPhone screens from Hong Kong seized at customs last year, Mr Huseby was contacted by Apple lawyers who tried to sweet-talk him into signing an agreement not to use or distribute such parts any more. No way, he said and, knowing the liberal Norwegian system, hired an attorney: "They threw all kinds of claims against me and told me the laws and acted so friendly and just wanted me to sign the letter so it would all be over. I had a good lawyer that completely understood the problem, did good research, and read the law correctly." Long story short, since the iPhone 6 and 6s displays in question were refurbished using genuine Apple parts from broken iPhones, the court sided with the repair shop owner. 

In California, however, the Right to Repair Act proponents had no such luck. Here's an excerpt from their bill:


The Right to Repair Act defenders say that in the last two decades, manufacturers have monopolized repairs by withholding manuals, and introducing custom parts, down to the pentalobe screws that Apple had in its iPhones. While they may sound a bit Luddite, the proposal put California among the many states where such laws are considered. Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and other tech giants have been fighting tooth and nail against their passage, though, as, they argue, they want to control the repair process to ensure safety and environmental compliance.

After a media backlash, they established a lobbying firm, CompTIA, to deal with the bill, and it sent people to the California State Assembly's Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee. The lobbyists brought a disassembled iPhone as an exhibit, reports Motherboard, gunning to show how inadvertently piercing the lithium-ion battery inside may result in thermal runaway and injuries. An Apple exec is even on record saying that iPhones are "too complex" to repair by anyone but staff in authorized centers. 

The Commitee hearing was supposed to take place on Tuesday, but Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes-Eggman, the bill's sponsor, decided to pull it in the last minute, realizing that the industry's lobbying efforts against the California Right to Repair Act, has born fruit. Her full statement on the withdrawal puts it rather succinctly:


Ultimately, Apple has agreed to provide select third-party repair shops with the option to buy genuine parts from it and replace them on its own, as part of a new program called "Apple Genuine Parts Repair." It can be a quiet new way to comply with an eventual Right to Repair legislation passing if it comed down the road, or it could be a bargaining chip for tech company lobbyists to prevent such bills from being considered in the first place. In any case, the California Right to Repair Act bill is now withdrawn because... iPhones exploding in the hands of laymen and things. 

This is why we wanted to ask you if you are on the side of the tech companies that argue that it is a health, privacy and environmental hazard if third-party repairmen are given the option to fix their products, or are you of the opinion that, say, iPhones are not "too complex" to repair in unauthorized by Apple shops?

Do you think that the iPhone is really 'too complex' to fix by unauthorized repairmen?

Yes
15.64%
No
84.36%

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28 Comments

1. ahmadkun

Posts: 664; Member since: May 02, 2016

Ask Jerry everything ..

2. notfair

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

Corporate greed it's too much for our society, it destroys absolutely everything for the sake of profits. Consumerism and corporate greed will lead to the demise of the human race, although I hope to god that our beloved shareholders will be OK and will continue to live like kings forever.

3. monkeyb

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

Its just another sad day. And this is not only about phones. Every year I wait with a hope that Apple will announce a true pro macbook that users can upgrade by themselves. I mean since we already know that batteries get degraded in less than a year these days, users should have options to replace that one darn part by themselves at the least. Also we should not be looking at this as a Apple alone problem. Every company wants the same - To squeeze more money.

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7577; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

But Apple is the main one that currently has gone out of their way more so than anyone else to try and stop parts and components from coming into the country. Restricted manuals and more. Apple's control has to have bounds, as it stands today Apple has no bounds, and that alone has to stop.

4. Valdomero

Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

If they can make money selling you a "replacement" unit rather than making costs go lower by giving you access to all their parts then why not? greed is the main reason these companies make billions of dollars a year.

5. Derekjeter

Posts: 1556; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Nothing but greed, but the people responsible for this are the iFans, sheep’s, people who follow blindly and can’t think for themselves. Apple just makes it seems like it’s difficult to repair. They don’t want you messing with product even though you own it and they don’t want to allow anyone to profit a dime from them.

7. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

While many people look into this as greed, I find myself ok with this since I purchased my iphone Xs Max with AppleCare. No worries.

8. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

AppleCare doesn't cover everything that can happen to your device, and the service alone is a payment on top of an already expensive device that shouldn't be "necessary", the greedy people behind that are very happy to have you as a blind loyal customer....

9. Valdomero

Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Let's see, you paid around $1.2k for a device, plus you add like $200-$300 for an insurance and when your iDevice is damaged or stolen you have to pay a deductible for a replacement unit. You just gifted Apple $200+ for "just in case" I mean it's your choice and your money, but c'mon by paying this much of an insurance you should at least get free deductible.

34. bhmckendrick

Posts: 5; Member since: May 05, 2019

You and you're fellow bleating sheep are the f'in problem. This type of crap from the company you have put on a pedestal SHOULD piss you off. But you just sit there with that dumb grin: "Thank you mistress Tim, may I have another". Glad you're staying on your iPhone, it's where you belong

10. Man_Utd

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Apple is not looking out for the consumer on this. This is another way to ensure their closed system remains closed even on the HW side. They did this with Macs as well. They sued a famous YouTuber, Louis Rossmann, over it. Check out his videos. He does some awesome work.

33. bhmckendrick

Posts: 5; Member since: May 05, 2019

The friendly folks at the genius bar are trained to push customers to opt for purchasing replacement devices rather than repair. They use scare tactics or simply lie about the extent to which the phone is damaged. Itd be more honest if Tim C just followed you to the ATM with a ski mask on.

38. oldskool50 unregistered

When has Apple ever looked out for the consumer? Please list a time and date...lol

11. dumpster666

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

one of many reasons to hate apple.... pathetic

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6878; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

If a microbiologist can retrieve your precious data and pics from a water damaged iPhone (when the apple geniuses say it's impossible)...I'm thinking their phones wouldn't be too hard to repair either if only apple wasn't taking drastic steps to ensure that it's difficult to do.

39. oldskool50 unregistered

Phoens are not easy to repair by the average JOe. But that is why we have 3rd parties ot do it. Apple can't lose another revenue stream. That is all that matters wo apple. For me, I was personally so insulted when the iPhone 6 debacle hit and Apple refused to replace a phoen they knew interally would bend and yet again blames customers. Then the cheap batteries. Touch Disease caused by the bending phone. Degrading hardware performance due to cheap batteries. Purposely bricking peoples phones with an update because those customer had their FPS and displays replaced with a 3rd party options. How much wrong can Apple due to consumers before they wake up?

13. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 158; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

This is the correct way to go about considering that should people get injured whilst carrying out their own repairs, they will be trying to sue Apple again,

16. deleon629 unregistered

Right. Especially if it happens in the US; the only country where you can sue McDonald's because YOU got fat while willingly buying their food lol

22. lyndon420

Posts: 6878; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

People in the USA like to blame others for their personal failures...and there's way too many thirsty lawyers lol.

35. bhmckendrick

Posts: 5; Member since: May 05, 2019

Apple needs to get sued - preferably for shady business practices or price fixing. But frivolous lawsuits will do just fine too.

14. Taphius

Posts: 106; Member since: Aug 20, 2018

Not the fixing part, its that oem level parts are not available many times (sometimes by contract).

17. matistight

Posts: 1024; Member since: May 13, 2009

Lol no it's not. Just some people are too stupid to work on phones. I would say working on a car is WAY more complex than a phone.

18. talon95

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I'm an engineer like a few hundred thousand other people, but everyone works on their cars which are more complex than a phone and they aren't engineers, so that isn't an argument that I will put up with from Apple or anyone else. They're just greedy and we shouldn't put up with it.

28. boriqua2000

Posts: 260; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

How difficult can it be to repair an iPhone. They're built by 10 year olds in China

31. bhmckendrick

Posts: 5; Member since: May 05, 2019

Anyone have the heart to explain to these dipsh×ts that the security that protects these phones won't be exposed through schematics or specs that a technician would require for repair. The security is built into the software, app and services running on the devices and embedded within specialized chips and the SoC within the device. Schemagics for repairable modules that would be instructive to a technician would be about as dangerous as Mr Leo Mc is with the ladies. A physical safe has more in common with a whale's vagina than it does the security on you're favorite device. LEARN YOUR DAMN TECH YOU IDGIT.

36. applesnapple93

Posts: 335; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

In college I fixed and sold damaged phones (mostly iphones) instead of getting an actual job. Made more money than most people who were working an hourly job. Its a little too easy to fix them and only got easier ever new version.

37. oldskool50 unregistered

The right to repair, wasn't really about fixing your phone yourself like this article is saying. It was about going to 3rd parties who charge significantly less than Apple and how apple made their software brick peoples phones because they used a 3rd party who doesn't have original parts, but parts that still work. The iPhone X is a perfect example of pure greed. You can replace the back glass easiy once it is broken. You just use a tools and remove all the glass and clean off the adhesive, put new adhesive and then a new glass. Material cost is about $20. Labor cost could be $100 or so. Apple wants $600, because they don't repair, they just give you a refurb. $600 is more than it costs to even make the phone from scratch. That is beyond greed. Especially since you still have to pay the same $600 even if you bought AppleCare+. That is insane! This is the fault of stupid fans who just kept paying with zero question. But they suppose to be so smart. There isn't a product in the world where a repair cost more than the cost of it's original production. Apple wanted to charge a customer with a Macbook, $1200 to repair an issue that didn't even require any replacement part. The repair could have been done for considerably less. Because they don't want to repair it. They want you to buy it new. They are hoping when they tell you how much it is to fix, you will just run and buy a new one for DOUBLE the price of that repair. When it breaks its the same thing over an over. The courts who are in Apple's pockets, have sided against consumers once again. Consumers need to show their disdain by not even wasting money on Apple. Apple who right now is selling 7th gen Mackooks for $3000, when I can get a brand new 8th gen for almost 70% less, just shows Apple's greed. Sorry apple has never made luxury product. They make mid-ranged products that they shove into fancy cases and jack up the price.

42. Dadler22

Posts: 243; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Its not like the people who work in the apple stores are legitimate "geniuses" and they're probably trained right around the same level as the iBreakuFix people lol. Just apple charging egregious prices to those who hold them higher than other OEM's. They kind of deserve it for blind loyalty.

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