California joins 18 other states demanding Right to Repair from smartphone makers

08 March 2018

California has become the latest state to pass Right to Repair bill, with 18 other states having already signed it.

Under the Right to Repair bill, smartphone manufacturers would be required to provide repair information, replacement parts, and diagnostic tools to product owners and independent repair shops.

The bill emerged after Apple's iPhone battery controversy, as the company admitted that it throttled older iPhones to prevent random shutdowns. According to commentators, while this could come as good news for the consumer, it could mean that users would have fewer features packed in their devices.

For instance, water resistant phones being offered nowadays, would not be offered. This is because, the special seal around the phone, which makes it waterproof would need to dropped.

The innards of the iPhone are known to be tough to access and Apple's retail stores and repair efforts are meant to address this. Apple Stores, however, are not available everywhere just yet.

While some customers are more than two hours from the nearest Apple Store, others outside of major countries, may not have access to an Apple Store or Apple Authorised retailer at all. In such scenarios, being able to get your own parts could be a key consideration in deciding which gadget to buy.

Also, Right to Repair would make it easier for third-party and smaller repair shops to get the parts and machinery needed for more iPhone repairs.

California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman last afternoon announced plans to introduce the new California Right to Repair Act. According to Eggman, the bill will provide consumers with the freedom to choose a repair shop of their choice.

"The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence," Eggman said.

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