Apple lobbying against ‘Right to Repair’ legislation, New York State records confirm

“Lobbying records in New York state show that Apple, Verizon, and the tech industry’s largest trade organizations are opposing a bill that would make it easier for consumers and independent companies to repair your electronics,” Jason Koebler reports for Motherboard.

“The bill, called the ‘Fair Repair Act,’ would require electronics companies to sell replacement parts and tools to the general public, would prohibit “software locks” that restrict repairs, and in many cases would require companies to make repair guides available to the public,” Koebler reports. “Apple and other tech giants have been suspected of opposing the legislation in many of the 11 states where similar bills have been introduced, but New York’s robust lobbying disclosure laws have made information about which companies are hiring lobbyists and what bills they’re spending money on public record.”

“According to New York State’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics, Apple, Verizon, Toyota, the printer company Lexmark, heavy machinery company Caterpillar, phone insurance company Asurion, and medical device company Medtronic have spent money lobbying against the Fair Repair Act this year,” Koebler reports. “The Consumer Technology Association, which represents thousands of electronics manufacturers, is also lobbying against the bill.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in March:

Using authorized channels is the only way to ensure you are getting genuine Apple parts and that the repair will be done to the right specifications. With so many second-hand smartphones, for example, being sold and re-sold, how are buyers to know their battery is the genuine part and that it was correctly installed? How safe are would these smartphones be to have on airplanes, for example?

Certainly it can be dangerous to mishandle/damage lithium batteries during DYI repairs and the results can injure not just the repairer.

What if somebody’s half-assed DIY battery installation burns down an apartment building at 3am or sets fire to a plane in flight? When even Samsung can’t fix their own batteries correctly, we doubt every single Joe and Jane Sixpack would be able to manage a perfect battery installation every single time. It only takes one mistake to cause a tragedy.

Apple fights against ‘right to repair’ – April 20, 2017
Apple fights ‘right to repair’ proposal; warns Nebraska could become a ‘Mecca for bad actors’ – March 10, 2017
Apple fights tooth and nail against ‘right to repair’ laws – March 8, 2017
Right to repair: Why Nebraska farmers are taking on John Deere and Apple – March 6, 2017
Right-to-Repair is ridiculous – February 16, 2017
Apple said to fight ‘Right to Repair’ legislation – February 15, 2017


  1. I’m a real do it yourself type, but I can see MDN’s point. For phones I haven’t seen a need to fix one myself, and don’t foresee that I’d ever want to repair one. Macs, that’s different. But really, all I want to do on my Macs is replace RAM and drives. That’s all.

    1. You have that freedom, “Sherif.” Do not buy any product that fails to meet your personal repairability standard. That would save you a lot of money, because you would not make many purchases.

      Facetiousness aside, there are many products which can theoretically be fixed, but not practically. Few electronic components are even marked with an identification code nowadays. And many components are minuscule surface mount parts that are nearly impossible to remove and replace. At the module level, repair is certainly a more viable option. I wholeheartedly concur with the desire to be able to swap out RAM, HDDs/SSDs, and batteries. But product design involves compromises – greater user access often means greater weight or volume. And let’s pause for a minute to consider the warranty and liability considerations. How is Apple to know when you messed up your device and then bring it in for warranty replacement?

  2. I can envision mono-block items like phones: a sort of assembled-while-extruded devices. Absolutely unrepairable, essentially disposable devices. This could perhaps extend to larger, hand held like tablets. OTOH, for larger items like Macs, repairability would still make sense. And, of course, we all want Mac Pros to be not only repairable but upgradeability. While a “Right-to-Repair” law might seem to be friendly to consumers, it would inhibit development of very slick, desirable products.

  3. This might have something to do with Foxconn assembly line automation. They have told Apple to design products that integrate more components to the motherboard so the robots can assemble them. That could make a difference, one million more iPhones produced every week. Removing the 3.5mm audio jack has saved 60 million x 15sec = ?? man-hours.

  4. I absolutely disagree, MDN. Changing a battery on an iPhone is incredibly easy, a child could do it. Seriously, not kidding, Jessa at iPad Rehab has had her young daughter do repairs like that. Shops like Jessa’s actually do repairs, not just board swaps, they do repairs for far more reasonable prices than Apple, and can actually correct Apple’s design problems (touch disease, for example).

    And I’ve changed screens and batteries on iPhones, this isn’t rocket surgery.

  5. IF Apple doesn’t want the “Right to Repair”, they should charge $10 more to every phone and every Air, Pro, Book and give a 3 year warranty with an additional 3 years 50% warranty. Currently, they want too much!

    I live in a heavily generational poverty area of the country; Even the middle class are below the national average in income. They still like quality products (Apple) but the expense of fixing at Apple’s rate is out of their reach. I know several that went without their MB or iPhone and a cheap replacement until they could get it fixed by unauthorized person or eventually buy a new one. I have fixed 2 iPhones in replacing a speaker on one and a screen on another. No problem. But If I hadn’t there is no way they could afford Apple’s prices for fixing. I have replaced screens on MB Air’s, replaced drives, replaced the wireless board, replaced the jack, replaced keyboards and replaced a track pad. Not difficult but not affordable under Apple’s policy.

  6. I think that such “right to repair” bills should exclude devices which have a full warranty (parts/labor) which covers at least 75% of the expected lifetime of the device, such time to be determined either by historical data or by third-party analysis, and that devices without such a warranty should be covered.

    Apple, if you don’t want people touching the devices, make it unnecessary.

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