Apple supports Biden's effort to pass a right-to-repair statute

Following years of complaints from consumer advocates that its elegant products are difficult and costly to fix, Apple (AAPL.O), the largest tech firm in the world, announced on Tuesday that it would support a U.S. right-to-repair law.

The statement is part of President Joe Biden's initiative to encourage competition and rein in so-called trash fees and other practices that raise consumer prices.

In a move that might encourage other businesses to follow suit, Apple said on Tuesday that it would make the parts, tools, and paperwork required to repair its computers and iPhones available to independent repair shops and consumers nationwide.

According to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, industry-wide restrictive tactics increased consumer costs, impeded innovation, eliminated business prospects for independent repair shops, and produced unneeded electronic trash.

Apple supports Biden's

"We've heard from health care workers and hospitals worried that they would be unable to fix a ventilator because the manufacturer was seeking to deny access to repair it," Khan stated.

Apple has traditionally emphasized its goods' durability and resale value while facilitating their maintenance and accessibility to replacement components. The company's decision to support federal legislation and let independent repair shops fix its products is part of this trend.

In 2019, the business began supplying manuals and components to small, independent repair businesses. In its home state of California, Apple endorsed right-to-repair legislation in August, which mandates companies to provide customers and repair shops with access to the parts, tools, and instructions they need – at fair and reasonable pricing.

At the White House event, Apple's vice president for service and operations, Brian Naumann, stated that the company "intends to honour California's new repair provisions across the United States." "Apple also believes that consumers and businesses would benefit from a national law that balances repairability with product integrity, usability, and physical safety."

Lael Brainard, director of the National Economic Council, praised Apple's choice and urged Congress to enact federal law. Laws governing the right to repair have previously been enacted in California, Colorado, New York, and Minnesota. Similar legislation has been proposed in thirty other states.

According to Brainard, promises from private corporations like Apple might reduce consumer expenses and prevent needless garbage from ending in landfills.

According to Brainard, repairing consumer electronics may cut the nation's approximately 7 million tons of electronic trash, save American customers $49.6 billion annually, and support small independent repair businesses.

Even while Apple has been giving replacement parts to repair companies since 2019, California law also mandates that it provide diagnostic equipment. Apple declared that it will replicate its California business strategy across the country.

However, several consumer advocates expressed scepticism in response to the revelation on Tuesday since Apple has historically embraced fixes with several restrictions.

U.S. PIRG's Nathan Proctor oversaw the right-to-repair campaign activities and said his organization would monitor the specifics of any new federal law.

"It's going to depend on people's experience in the real world - that's what we care about," Proctor stated. "We're going to keep watch-dogging Apple and the other companies."

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