Friday, Nov 19, 2021, 15:17 Hardware

iFixit Praises Apple's New Repair Program & More Reactions – Shareholders Behind Change Of Heart?

Apple surprised us all recently with its new "Self Service Repair" program which will soon provide tech-savvy iPhone 12 and 13 users with the means and instructions to perform their own, self-directed repairs. However, the program will be launching solely in the USA for now and an international introduction could take a while. The step was slightly unexpected, especially given Apple's recent stubbornness concerning similar matters. The new program has been welcomed by the "Right to Repair" movement. For example, gadget repair website iFixit is a huge proponent of the new program whereas other media outlets are wondering what finally led to the notoriously stubborn Cupertino's abrupt change of tune. The most obvious factor could be shareholders, who have historically shown little understanding for Apple's repair policies over the years and little sympathy for the company in the Right to Repair "battle".

iFixit: Apple Heralds In The Beginning Of A New Era
iFixit is simply the best when it comes to Apple product tear downs. In fact, the website was one of the first to discover Apple's sneaky modification to the iPhone 13 that causes Face ID to stop working when the screen is replaced. The move was essentially a backhanded slap in the face to independent repair shops and the Right to Repair movement as a whole. However, for the experts at iFixit – Apple's recent change of heart is welcomed heartily, although not without critically addressing the company's previous policies and the abrupt about-face. For Kyle Wiens, founder and CEO of iFixit, "self service repair" (see: ) represents a complete and unexplained change of perspective from a company that previously emphasized the danger of repairs performed by customers or repair shops not a member of Apple's Independent Repair Provider. However, Wiens mentions and shows little support for several actions undertaken by Cupertino and makes two major claims: Apple has run "cynical lobbying" against the Right to Repair movement and the branch is currently on the "dark path of obsolescence" – support for devices could essentially be dropped at any moment if Apple is left room to decide what parts to provide or not, potentially making devices not even a few years old that have received damage obsolete by suddenly changing its decision about how long to provide independent repair providers with parts. If Apple suddenly stops providing IRP's with parts and stops offering the parts itself, then devices could quickly become obsolete and customers with damaged or broken equipment would be forced to make a new purchase.

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9to5Mac: Apple's Simply Trying To Avoid A PR Disaster
9to5Mac is much more critical of Cupertino's sudden about-face than iFixit. The Mac site argues that the move was necessary for Apple to take due to a looming PR disaster. Historically, the company has always been strongly against customer repairs and has warned of the potential mishaps from such engagements numerous times already. However, the majority of users haven't found much sense in these arguments. 9to5Mac believes that Cupertino is now being more or less forced to change its mind before the courts change it for the company.

Shareholders Exercising Pressure On Apple
According to Apple Insider, the new program is a reaction to a shareholder resolution met in September demanding that the company show some accountability for its monopolizing repair policies. Shareholders saw a contradiction between Apple's proclaimed sustainability standpoint as a company and not allowing customers to perform their own repairs.

Warranty Will Remain Unaffected
Many details concerning the new program are still unknown, for example: it's not known what price Apple will demand for replacement parts. According to TechCrunch, repair happy users won't have to worry about accidentally voiding their warranty due to participation in the new program.

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