Consumer advocates have lobbied for years for repair rights protections that make it easier and more affordable for people to restore broken gadgets.
They also wonder why manufacturers have a say in where you fix that paid smartphone, laptop, or game console.
“It’s just basic protection of your property rights and your right to tinker around as long as you don’t harm anyone else,” said Matt Stoller, research director at American Economic Liberties Project, a market power advocacy group. “Manufacturers want everything to be a service so that you don’t own anything, so you are accountable to them. “
While news of Apple’s repair program has been generally well received, advocates, including Consumer Reports senior policy adviser George Slover, have warned that there is still work to be done.
“It’s a good step, but you have to go further and become an industry requirement,” Slover said. “The right to repair must apply to all products, to all electronic consumer products, and without unreasonable restrictions that undermine those rights. “
In addition to proposed federal legislation, several states have considered right to redress legislation in recent years.
Last June, the New York State Senate approved legislation that would have required manufacturers to make parts and tools available for repair, becoming the first U.S. legislature to pass a bill. on the right of reparation. The legislative timetable expired before it could be passed by the state assembly.
“It was starting to look like the dam was going to burst,” said Nathan Proctor, senior director of the Right to Repair Campaign at the consumer organization US Public Interest Research Group, referring to progress made towards the right to redress. “And now I feel like, oh, the dam To to burst.”