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In a major U-turn, Apple has endorsed the Right to Repair Bill in California. This surprising move comes after years of the company fighting and delaying the Repair bill in various US states.
Apple sent Senator Sustan Talamantes Eggman a letter endorsing the SB-244 Right to Repair Act.
California’s Right to Repair Act is expansive
The Act allows Californians to fix various consumer electronics and home appliances on their own. Manufacturers must provide consumers with the necessary tools and spare parts to carry out such repairs.
Compared to the Right to Repair Act passed in Minnesota and New York, California’s bill sets a term for the parts availability. For products between $50 and $99.99, parts and tools must be available for at least three years. And for devices over $100, the required repair tools should be available for seven years.
California’s Right to Repair Act has a different enforcement method as well. Companies violating the law can be dragged to a superior court. If found guilty, they must pay $1,000 daily for the first violation and $2,000 daily for the second. For subsequent breaches, the fine increases to $5,000 per day.
In a post revealing Apple’s support for the Right to Repair Act in California, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens said, “Apple’s endorsement of the Right to Repair Bill in California is a watershed moment for consumer rights. It feels like the Berlin Wall of tech repair monopolies is starting to crumble, brick by brick.”
This is the first time Apple has supported the Right to Repair Act
Apple reportedly said in its letter that it supports the bill because it protects both customers and innovators. This includes ensuring that third-party repair shops reveal the use of non-genuine or used parts and that manufacturers do not have to allow repair providers to disable device security features.
It is likely that Apple’s Self Service Repair program meets the guidelines of the SB-244 Act. Plus, the bill also puts the onus on repair shops to use genuine repair parts. This could explain why Apple is supporting the bill after years of lobbying against the Right to Repair Act.