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BOSTON -- Apple reversed its longstanding policy against selling spare parts, providing repair instructions, and making repair software tools available to customers Wednesday with its announcement of a new Self Service Repair program. This about-face comes just days after the company pledged to stop deactivating Face ID after third parties repaired screens, and after years of advocacy and pressure by Right to Repair advocates.
The new program isn't as comprehensive as the Right to Repair reforms discussed in more than two dozen state legislatures this year would be. Given current public information, Apple still maintains a lot of proprietary control over repairs on its devices, although more details are emerging.
Massachusetts helped start the national momentum around Right to Repair when voters approved the first auto Right to Repair law in 2012, and has the chance to be the first state to extend those rights to other electronics, such as cell phones.
Senior Right to Repair Campaign Director Nathan Proctor issued the following statement:
"This is a huge milestone for the Right to Repair. One of the most visible opponents to repair access is reversing course, and Apple’s move shows that what repair advocates have been asking for was always possible. After years of industry lobbyists telling lawmakers that sharing access to parts, service tools and manuals would result in safety, security and intellectual property risks, Apple’s sudden change indicates these concerns were overblown. Right to Repair is breaking through.
"Our coalition of tinkerers, fixers, repair shops, DIYers, and consumer and environmental advocates has forced one of the world's biggest companies to change for the better. It's a win for repair shops, it's a win for consumers and it's a win for the planet.
"As more and more manufacturers show that repair access is reasonable and doable, it should become clear to lawmakers that there are no more excuses. It’s time to give every American the Right to Repair, so everyone can fix all their products. That's the way it should be."
MASSPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz:
“We hope this puts even more wind behind the sails of our own Right to Repair bill here in Massachusetts. The recent legislative hearing before the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee on H341/S166 sponsored by Rep. Claire Cronin and Sen. Michael Brady showed just how strongly everyone from consumers to farmers to independent repair shop owners feel that we have a broken system and it needs repair---a tool that the Legislature can give us with passage of this bill.”
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