California pulls its right-to-repair bill following pressure from Apple, other firms

“Apple physically makes its products hard to repair in a wide array of ways, and this week may have brought proof that Apple is also fighting to keep pesky laws from challenging the status quo,” Sean Hollister reports for The Verge. “It seems an Apple lobbyist has quietly managed to get California to postpone its right-to-repair bill until 2020 at the earliest, partly by stoking fears of exploding batteries should consumers attempt to repair their iPhones.”

“As Motherboard first reported yesterday and The Verge’s sources can corroborate, a lobbyist who works directly for Apple recently met with members of the California state Assembly’s Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, which was considering the bill,” Hollister reports. “The lobbyist argued that consumers might hurt themselves if they accidentally puncture the flammable lithium-ion batteries in their phones, which could happen in the course of the easier repairs this bill was designed to enable.”

“In response to the pressure, the bill’s co-sponsor pulled it from the committee on Tuesday, saying it might be considered again in January 2020,” Hollister reports. “‘While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns,’ said California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman, who first introduced the bill in March 2018 and again in March 2019.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote in March 2017:

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.

Leaked internal documents show Apple is capable of implementing ‘Right to Repair’ legislation – March 28, 2019
Allstate buys mobile device repair company iCracked, becoming powerful proponent of ‘Right to Repair’ movement against Apple – February 15, 2019
California to introduce ‘right to repair’ bill which Apple opposes – March 8, 2018
State of Washington bill would make it illegal to sell electronics that don’t have easily replaceable batteries – January 26, 2018
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


  1. I swear on a stack of holy scriptures, I was once in an Apple store with my mini to order a replacement IR receiver. One of the floor dorks asked me if he could help me and I said no, I was waiting for my appointment. He insisted, so, I popped open the bottom to show him. He said that I just voided my warranty, because I wasn’t a certified Apple technician. I asked him how did he know I wasn’t one. Then I asked him to leave me alone.

    MDN… was that you?

  2. With today’s ever smaller more complex products I don’t think this Right to Repair legislation is very practical.

    Take the AirPods, they are so small just trying to get into them without breaking the other components inside is very difficult. Then there’s the obvious and real question about whether everyone is going to be able to do this safely.

    The big issues with this policy is its not really a fundamental right and I doubt many people will even want to repair it themselves, they’ll still go to a repair shop, at which point what’s really changed.

    You could argue Apple could redesign it so that you could repair AirPods more easily but you wouldn’t get the AirPods in its current seamless compact form factor, its simply not possible.

    I would rather Apple focuses on making more reliable products and that we have laws in place that ensure every manufacturer has a clear and fair repair and recycle program for all their products.

    This policy increases the possibility of botched repairs and will make it a lot harder to make products with innovative form factors (AR/MR Smart Glasses). I also don’t see how creating a large market for replaceable throwaway parts even helps the environment.

  3. Stop the B.S.
    MDN is scared to replace flashlight batteries and certainly not car batteries. Oh and don’t refuel your car you might spill gasoline or plug your electric vehicle in the wrong way.

    I own my laptop and iPhone and can do anything I want with them. Took me 15 min to replace the battery.

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