Apple announced that it would be making all of the parts, tools, and information necessary for consumers and repair shops to fix the device maker’s products during a White House event on Tuesday.
Apple is already required to make these materials available in California after the state passed its Right to Repair Act earlier this month, but the company says it will bring this new support to consumers and independent repair shops nationwide.
“We intend to honor California’s new repair provisions across the United States,” Brian Naumann, Apple vice president and general manager of the company’s repair business, said during Tuesday’s meeting. “Apple also believes that consumers and businesses would benefit from a national law that balances repairability with product integrity, usability and physical safety.”
“Apple also believes that consumers and businesses would benefit from a national law that balances repairability with product integrity, usability and physical safety.”
Until recently, Apple has fought efforts to support independent repair services by restricting access to the guides and parts necessary to fix the company’s products. But the company has slowly started to embrace the right-to-repair movement (even if its original answer was to ship out 79 pounds of tools). Apple’s gone as far as supporting legislative efforts to codify right-to-repair principles into law. In a surprise move in August, Apple endorsed California’s Right to Repair Act.
Tuesday’s meeting was part of the Biden administration’s broader effort to promote economic competition. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order urging the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on companies that made consumers jump through hoops to fix their own devices. On Tuesday, the White House called on Congress to pass similar legislation protecting the right to repair.
“From smartphones to wheelchairs to cars to farm equipment, too often, manufacturers make it difficult to access spare parts manuals and tools necessary to make fixes,” National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said during Tuesday’s event. “Consumers are compelled to go back to the dealer and pay the dealer’s price, or to discard and replace their device entirely.”
While a handful of states have approved right-to-repair laws in the past, federal efforts have fallen flat. After Biden’s 2021 executive order, Congress picked up the pace, introducing bills promoting the principles for tractor and vehicle repair and holding hearings with experts.
The FTC voted unanimously in 2021 to ramp up efforts to go after companies making everything from smartphones and farm equipment to microwaves and cars for limiting accessibility to the materials needed to repair their products.
Brainard applauded Apple’s move to expand its right-to-repair commitments nationwide, saying, “whether you are in California, Maine or Michigan, Apple will make the parts, tools, and documentation needed to repair your Apple products available to you at reasonable prices.”