Some individuals believe that repairing products is a right, as they own the device. Some companies, like Apple, believe that repairing devices should be handled directly by professionals. That battle has been going on for quite some time.
Whether or not there is an actual end in sight remains unknown. But that will not stop either side from lobbying to get their way. Indeed, courtesy of a new report from Axios this week, we know that advocates for the right to repair have recently lobbied the United States government to try and show that companies like Apple are trying to monopolize the repair game as a whole, all in an effort to preserve their own profits.
In two separate filings committed to record for the House Judiciary Committee, the point is the same: companies use repairs to gain a competitive edge and maximize profits.
- “Repair hurts sales,” of new phones, said Nathan Proctor, who leads the Right to Repair campaign at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “Apple has an incentive to restrict repair of their devices.”
- In a different filing, Gay Gordon-Byrne, the executive director of the Right to Repair Coalition, said that while one option would be for right to repair advocates to go to court, the coalition’s members “will be best served through legislation” addressing the issue, since litigation is time-consuming and expensive.
Apple has been a longstanding presence of pushback against these sorts of bills and efforts by advocates to broaden repairability and customer-based repairs in general. As such, an Apple spokesperson provided an updated statement on the matter to the original publication, stating that it wants customers to know repairs are being done “safely and correctly”, and that focusing on recycling is also important.
Apple’s statement on the matter:
We want to make sure our customers always have confidence their products will be repaired safely and correctly, and in a way that supports recycling,” said an Apple spokesperson in a statement. “We are continually growing our network of certified technicians and most recently announced that any Best Buy store in the U.S. is now an authorized service provider.
Apple did indeed announce Best Buy as a new source for Apple product repair earlier this year, reducing the reliance on Apple customers to find an Apple store if one isn’t near them. There are over 1,800 Authorized Service Providers across the United States, not including the more than 1,000 new Best Buy stores, all of which have access to certified parts and Apple-confirmed repair guidelines.
What do you think of all this? Should device owners have the right to repair their own devices without any kind of fallout? Or should companies strive to make sure repairs are handled by professionals?