California considering ‘right to repair’ legislation

California is the latest state to prepare "right to repair" legislation that would require companies like Apple to provide consumers and third-party repair outlets access to repair information, diagnostic equipment and parts, according to an announcement from Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton). 

She plans to introduce the California Right to Repair Act. The legislation would require manufacturers of electronics to make diagnostic and repair information, as well as equipment or service parts, available to product owners and to independent repair shops.

Broken iPhone.jpg

“The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence,” Eggman says.

Apple has opposed such a bill. Apparently, one of the company’s concerns is safety: that consumers who repair their own phones could cause lithium batteries to catch fire.

Apple has never authorized an independent company to repair iPhones, though it has for Macs. Still, hundreds of companies do repair iPhones, but many of them have to salvage parts from recycled devices or get them on the Chinese grey market.