“A bill that would make it easier to fix your electronics is rapidly hurtling through the Washington state legislature,” Jason Koebler writes for Motherboard. “The bill’s ascent is fueled by Apple’s iPhone-throttling controversy, which has placed a renewed focus on the fact that our electronics have become increasingly difficult to repair.”
“‘It was introduced before [the throttling] news broke, but that’s become something constituents and legislators have sunk their teeth into,’ Jeff Morris, a Washington representative who introduced the bill told me on the phone,” Koebler writes. “Late last year, Apple confirmed that it slows down the processor speeds of iPhones with older batteries. This performance decrease can be fixed by replacing the battery, but Apple’s replacement program has a weeks-long waiting list and the company has fought against third-party repair of its phones at every turn.”
“A wave of so-called right-to-repair or fair repair bills that would prevent companies from having repair monopolies have been introduced in states around the country. Last year, 12 states introduced bills that would require electronics manufacturers to make repair information available to consumers and third-party repair shops and would require them to sell replacement parts for electronics,” Koebler writes. “It would also prevent them from using software locks to prevent repair or from remotely bricking electronics that use aftermarket parts.”
“The bill Morris introduced also goes further than any other state’s legislation because it seeks to tackle the growing trend of manufacturers creating electronics that have difficult-to-replace batteries,” Koebler writes. “Starting in 2019, the bill would ban the sale of electronics that are designed ‘in such a way as to prevent reasonable diagnostic or repair functions by an independent repair provider. Preventing reasonable diagnostic or repair functions includes permanently affixing a battery in a manner that makes it difficult or impossible to remove.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This ill-considered and heavy-handed bill should never be made law. It will retard innovation along with making products less secure, susceptible to water and dust damage, more expensive, and more dangerous.
We do not want to be trapped aboard a jetliner at 30,000 feet when some random unauthorized repair shop’s handiwork goes up in flames. It’s bad enough that there are some Samsung phones in steerage. We try not to think about that when flying.
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.
Why Apple doesn’t want you repairing your broken iPhone or iPad yourself – July 12, 2017
Apple makes iPhone screen fixes easier as U.S. states mull ‘right to repair’ laws – June 7, 2017
Apple lobbying against ‘Right to Repair’ legislation, New York State records confirm – May 18, 2017
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
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TJ” for the heads up.]