No, it’s not April Fool’s Day. Apple announcement today, starting in 2022, it will allow iPhone 12 and 13 owners to repair their broken phones with factory parts and tools sold by Apple. The company will even provide repair manuals on its website. This will allow users to identify the parts they need so they can order the parts needed to repair the device. After the repair is complete, users can return the defective parts to Apple and receive a credit to their Apple account for the value of the parts. The program will start only with parts for the latest generation iPhone and only in the US, but will eventually expand across the world and include parts for its M1-based computers as well.
Apple notes that the program will start with the most frequently repaired parts for the iPhone, including the screen, battery, and camera. Interestingly, the company was recently criticized for an iPhone 13 design that disabled FaceID if the user replaced the screen through a third party rather than an official Apple repair shop. Apple has stepped back from that position, perhaps in a move that now seems to foreshadow today’s announcement. for parts or tools.
The move marks a rather surprising reversal on the part of Apple, which has become one of the most ardent advocates of the “no one can fix our products except us” ethic. For years Apple has not only made its products harder to repair using screws, glues, and special parts, but it has repeatedly resisted calls for the exact type of program it is launching today. In 2019, the existence of an Apple Genuine Parts Repair Program was leaked to the press, suggesting that Apple has now had the ability to run such a program for some time now, and has finally gave in, most likely just to show off. to have his hand forced by legislation.
Apple’s latest move also follows two recent developments. In March, the FTC released a 55-page report on whether or not companies were treating consumers fairly under manufacturer-imposed repair restrictions, concluding that they were not being treated fairly at all. Additionally, the US Copyright Office eased restrictions on “right to repair” activities in October when it allowed new exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), granting consumers the notional right to tinker with devices. that they own, as long as they are not violating the copyright protections put in place by the manufacturer.
Previously, Apple has said it opposes this type of self-healing program because it would allow bad actors to understand their products on a deeper level, thus allowing more malicious activity to take place. It also said that only people with the right tools, training and parts are qualified to perform repair work on its products due to their inherently complicated design.
Surprisingly, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak openly criticized Apple’s previously resilient stance, which touted its stance on the benefits of self-healing in a Cameo video to the most virulent defender of the “right to reparation” on YouTube,Louis rossmann. In the video, Woz says Apple wouldn’t even exist as a company if the kind of restrictions on access to computer parts and tools that now exist were in place at the time.
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