News & Analysis

Apple bends to Right to Repair movement - says GlobalData

12th April 2024
Kristian McCann

Following the announcement on 11th April 2024 that Apple will support repairs using used Apple parts, which will not compromise users' safety, security, or privacy, Anisha Bhatia, Senior Technology Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, has shared her insights:

"Apple's enhancement of its repair process to incorporate used Apple parts represents a victory for the Right to Repair movement, while still enabling the tech giant to retain control over repair revenues. Apple is streamlining its repair process for both customers and service providers by removing its cumbersome parts pairing feature for iPhone 15 series and newer models. This change will remove the requirement to provide a device's serial number when ordering parts, making iPhone repairs less troublesome and, in turn, will increase circular economy income for the tech giant."

Apple's policy reversal will facilitate easier repairs for iPhone owners using used parts, a move set to start this fall. The tech giant plans to eliminate its controversial "parts pairing" restrictions, which have traditionally hindered repair shops from reusing genuine Apple parts in new devices. This practice, which includes serialisation, has been criticised for preventing components like iPhone batteries or MacBook screens from functioning fully when moved to another device due to lack of Apple's authentication. The change will allow used genuine Apple parts to retain full functionality and security, akin to new parts. Additionally, repair shops will no longer need to provide a device's serial number when ordering parts. This shift comes shortly after Oregon passed its Right To Repair bill, which Apple opposed, arguing it would compromise iPhone security. The new approach by Apple not only aims to enhance the longevity and environmental sustainability of iPhones but also marks a potential change in its stance on repair restrictions across its range of devices.

Continuing with her comments, Bhatia said: "Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have faced pressure from governments as the Right to Repair movement has gained significant momentum in the EU and the US. The EU enacted its own 'Right to Repair' law in February 2024, and various repair bills have been passed in four US states, with more Right to Repair bills currently being debated in legislatures across 28 other US states. Sustainability is a pressing issue at the moment, and devices that offer greater longevity are likely to foster brand loyalty among both telecommunications companies and OEMs that present it as a key differentiator."

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