As a company that sees a lot of smashed Apple products and is partnered with more than 500 independent electronic repair shops across America, the right to repair is near and dear to our hearts.
That’s why we were so elated to see the recent news that Apple is making repair manuals and OEM parts for iPhones and Mac computers available to consumers starting in 2022. This is a major step forward in the right to repair, and it gives consumers and small repair businesses a truly meaningful boost.
Once the program is fully rolled out, you’ll no longer be stuck with Apple Stores or certified Independent Repair Program (IRP) technicians as your only options when your stuff breaks. Instead, the bold and extraordinarily tech-savvy among us will be able to actually repair their phones themselves – but for most of us, it means we’ll be able to take our phones to just about any repair business to get the job done right, and with original parts.
Although this isn’t the end of the right-to-repair movement – obviously, not all Apple products will be repairable in this way, or (in the case of AirPods) at all, and there’s quite a ways to go across the tech industry in general – it’s a momentous announcement, and one that offers tremendous benefits for people and the planet alike.
For consumers, the benefit is obvious: increased flexibility. We already see a lot of people switching from AppleCare+ to AKKO, but this will make it even easier for you to get the coverage and repairs you need at a price you can afford.
For our repair partners and the other independent shops out there, this is a huge boon for business: Apple Stores obviously account for a lot of repairs currently, and joining the IRP program can be time-consuming as well as unappetizing due to the invasive terms of the contract.
But the biggest winner of all may be this planet we call home (and, in turn, all the folks like us who are living on it). As you probably already know, your electronic devices are full of heavy metals and rare-earth elements. Mining those has a major environmental impact – not to mention significant human-rights implications. Shipping them burns a lot of carbon as well. Long story short, the more we can extend the lifespan of our devices and prioritize local repairs rather than sending them away to be fixed, the better off we’ll be.
All in all, if you’re invested in the fight for the right to repair, this is a win worth celebrating – but there’s plenty more work to be done, including by Apple. Let’s enjoy this moment and keep working toward the goal: universal repair access.