Apple Loosening Strict Repair Rules

Right-to-repair proponents and small computer repair services providers might have just won a small victory from Apple, which is infamous for making it difficult for anyone but official stores and authorized repair shops to repair their products.

Motherboard, by Vice, recently acquired an ‘Apple Genuine Parts Repair’ presentation from April of 2018, which states that Apple has begun distributing its diagnostic software to several computer repair services providers outside of their network.

Said document also notes which parts are available to repairers and how the company now allows no restrictions on the types of repairs that third-party computer repair services providers can do to Apple products. That means that this could make it easier for owners of iPhone and Mac owners to get their products repaired without having to turn to their nearest Apple repair centers.

The document can be seen as an effort by Apple to placate the right-to-repair movement, which has been making ground across the world, even prompting legislative proposals in several states in the US, including Apple’s home base, California.

Apple has already taken heat for several repair-related issues over its operations due to their repair regulations are specifically designed to discourage customers from turning to third-party repairers, specifically for specific components, like an iPhone’s screens.

Back in 2016, Apple effectively made some iPhones defunct after the company detected unauthorized repairs. The company said that it was due to security reasons due to the fact that Touch ID’s fingerprint data is stored in a secure, remote location.

Computer repair firm iFixit, a frequent critic of Apple’s repair regulations and an advocate of the right to repair, the documents show a small, but welcome change towards in Apple’s approach to third-party repairs.

They note that Apple’s plan is a step in the right direction, but  it might be a PR move or begrudging compliance, due to how small of a step it is. iFixit says that the customers need more than these minor steps, they need comprehensive Right to Repair laws that mandate Apple and other major manufacturers to make components easily available, just like with cars and appliances.