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Right to repair: all the latest news and updates

Tech companies haven’t always made it easy for consumers to repair their products. Without the manuals, parts, and tools we need, there aren’t many options available, and lobbying paid for by many big companies has worked to keep it that way.

Thankfully, the right-to-repair movement has picked up momentum over the past couple of years, putting pressure on giants like Apple, Samsung, Google, and even John Deere to make it easier for both consumers and independent repair shops to repair their devices. While both Apple and Samsung now have self-repair programs that let customers fix their own devices, there’s still a long way to go to make them more widely applicable, available, and cheaper.

In a handful of US states, lawmakers have signed right-to-repair laws pressing companies to improve the repairability of their products. New York passed a right-to-repair law last year, but it went into effect with amendments that introduced OEM-friendly loopholes. Meanwhile, other states, including Minnesota and Colorado, have been more successful recently in passing right-to-repair laws of their own.

You can catch up on all the latest right-to-repair developments in the stream below.

  • Wes Davis

    Feb 21

    Wes Davis

    Framework is selling a cheap modular laptop

    The Framework laptop open, outdoors, on a red tablecloth with a garden and the wall of a house in the background. The screen displays a mountainous landscape.
    A picture of the Framework 13 from The Verge’s 2021 review.
    Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge

    Framework is now selling a $499 version of its modular 2021 Laptop 13, a “barebones configuration” equipped with an 11th-generation Intel i7-1165G7 CPU (Intel is now on its 14th generation for mobile processors). The company says this is a first for its affordable “B-stock Factory Seconds” machines that use leftover parts and ship without memory or storage included. So it’s cheap, but you’ll need to provide a couple of parts on your own.

    Framework writes in its announcement that it’s also selling refurbished DDR4 RAM for half what it would cost new “to reduce the all-in price.” The base B-stock Laptop 13 configuration is one step up from the version that Monica Chin said in her Verge review was “uniquely friendly to user upgrades,” but notably lacked available screen or GPU upgrades.

    Read Article >
  • The right to repair — and play games anywhere

    An illustration showing a person repairing their gadget.
    Image: Alex Parkin / The Verge

    Last year was a big one for the right-to-repair movement, with California and other states passing laws that promised consumers they can fix their own stuff — or take that stuff to a third-party repair shop without breaking their warranty or their gadgets. This year, more states are considering laws to the same effect, and the tech industry appears to be more behind the effort than ever. (Some companies appear to be only begrudgingly behind it, but it’s a win for the movement nonetheless.)

    But whenever you ask about the state of the right-to-repair fight, you tend to hear a lot of optimism and then two scary-sounding words: parts pairing. Those words, and what they mean for your ability to actually fix your stuff, are what might be holding back a true repair revolution.

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  • Apple argues against right-to-repair bill that would reduce its control

    A blue iPhone 15 face down next to a pink iPhone 15 Plus face down.
    Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

    Apple might’ve backed a right-to-repair bill in California, but it was spotted lobbying against a new bill in Oregon that tries to ban the practice known as parts pairing. Cybersecurity expert Tarah Wheeler posted footage from and testified during a hearing about the state’s proposed right-to-repair bill, where testimony showed the company doesn’t want to give up full control of the repair process, as reported earlier by 404 Media. John Perry, Apple’s senior manager for the secure design team, said that Apple uses parts pairing to “make repair easier” while ensuring the device and its data “remains secure.”

    The bill in question, SB 1596, would require companies to provide the documentation, tools, and parts both customers and independent repair shops need to fix broken products. However, unlike the bill in California, it also targets parts pairing, a restriction imposed by companies like Apple that can prevent customers from repairing a device with aftermarket parts.

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  • Wes Davis

    Jan 24

    Wes Davis

    Samsung is making DIY fixes easier for some of its TVs

    An image showing the Samsung logo on an abstract background
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Samsung is making parts and repair guides available for a bunch more of its devices, including three sizes of this year’s The Frame TV and both of its flagship foldable phones. The company says that for many of the TV and other display repairs, you’ll only need simple tools like a screwdriver to make a fix happen.

    Samsung says DIYers will be able to replace “parts related to picture, power, WiFi connection, [and] sound” for various display types. Users can also buy repair guides and parts for some of the company’s 2023 soundbars. Samsung even says all it takes to do any of these repairs are “common tools like a Phillips-head screwdriver.” (From experience, I urge you to be careful popping the bezel off the TV. The “TAB” connections from the motherboard to the display are fragile and not worth trying to replace.)

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  • Framework Laptop 16 review: two weeks with the ultimate modular laptop

    It’s a silver laptop with black trim, and loads of modules beneath.
    The Framework Laptop 16.
    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    The Framework Laptop 16 is the most ambitious notebook I’ve ever touched. There’s never been anything like it before. There’s so much to cover that it won’t fit in this review, so I’m hosting an AMA today on The Verge to answer your burning questions.

    Never has a computer company made a laptop so user-repairable, so customizable, so… modular. Never have I owned a laptop that’s a workhorse by day, physically transforms into a competent gaming PC by night, then morphs into an RGB-LED-studded five-screen DJ controller when the mood strikes. Never have I swapped out a laptop’s entire butt for a bigger one containing a discrete graphics card, then powered the whole rig with a world’s first 180-watt USB-C PD power supply. And never have I been able to lift out a laptop’s keyboard and touchpad, shift them to the left or right, then add a numpad, or a matrix of dazzling LEDs, or a simple pop of color alongside. 

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  • Wes Davis

    Jan 21

    Wes Davis

    iFixit says getting to the Motocompacto’s battery is “a bit of a pain in the arse chore.”

    The site’s teardown showed the company’s engineers “spared at least some thought” to making it something you can fix yourself, ultimately giving it a middling score.

    One thing is for sure: it is a suitcase-shaped electric scooter.

  • Google supports Oregon’s Right to Repair bill.

    The company “reaffirm”-ed its support for the bill, SB 542, and released a white paper about its “approach to repair,” as spelled out in a blog post. Google couldn’t resist a swipe at Apple, which has been criticized for its parts pairing practices:

    We also do not require burdensome parts pairing or registration, meaning that a properly installed screen or battery will work no matter who is doing the repair. This accessibility is table-stakes, as far as we are concerned.

  • Maddie Stone

    Nov 13, 2023

    Maddie Stone

    The right-to-repair movement is just getting started

    Conceptual illustration of a pair of hands repairing a smart phone. The screen of the phone has been removed to reveal a circuit board maze with a tree in the center, intended to communicate the political hurdles of the right-to-repair movement.
    Illustration by Nico H. Brausch for The Verge

    Several months back, Apple refurbisher John Bumstead received a batch of about 20 MacBooks from an e-waste recycler. Bumstead, who routinely refurbishes MacBooks that are more than 10 years old, shouldn’t have had a problem salvaging these computers, the oldest of which were from 2018. But only half of them were fully restorable.

    Five of the MacBooks were “activation locked,” meaning the prior owner had forgotten to wipe the device and nobody else could reactivate it. Another five had broken screens that would lose True Tone unless Bumstead replaced them with expensive new screens from Apple, something that would have eaten up most of the revenue he could earn refurbishing them.

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  • Wes Davis

    Nov 9, 2023

    Wes Davis

    Maine’s right-to-repair law for cars wins with 84 percent of the vote

    An image of several seated people from the waist down. A right to repair sign leans on a person’s knees.
    A January 13, 2020 picture from a right to repair hearing in Boston, Massachusetts.
    Photo: David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

    The right-to-repair movement gained a significant victory yesterday as a Maine law regarding auto repair rights won over 84 percent public support, according to Ballotpedia’s unofficial tally. As 404 Media reported, the “Question 4” measure asked if voters want auto manufacturers to enable owners and their preferred mechanics to access their car’s diagnostics systems. Voters said yes.

    Maine follows four states that enacted new right-to-repair laws this year. In California, a law signed into effect last month now guarantees seven years of parts for electronics and appliances.

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  • Emma Roth

    Oct 26, 2023

    Emma Roth

    iFixit now sells Microsoft Surface parts for repair

    An image showing Microsoft Surface repair parts
    Image: iFixit

    iFixit has started selling genuine replacement parts for Microsoft Surface devices. The company now offers SSDs, batteries, screens, kickstands, and a whole bunch of other parts for 15 Surface products.

    Some of the devices on that list include the Surface Pro 9, Surface Laptop 5, Surface Go 4, Surface Studio 2 Plus, and others. You can check out the entire list of supported products and parts in this post on Microsoft’s website. In addition to supplying replacement parts, iFixit also offers disassembly videos and guides for each product, as well as toolkits that include things like an opening tool, tweezers, drivers, and more.

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  • Jay Peters

    Oct 24, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Apple might have some big right-to-repair news soon.

    Apple is going to announce on Tuesday that it will offer independent repair shops parts, tools, and documentation for Apple product repairs “at fair and reasonable prices” across the country, according to Reuters, which cites the White House.

    The White House is hosting a right-to-repair event at 3:30pm ET, so it seems like that’s the place where this will be announced.

  • Elizabeth Lopatto

    Oct 10, 2023

    Elizabeth Lopatto

    Right-to-repair is now the law in California

    Fixing it!
    Fixing it!

    California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 244, or the Right to Repair Act, into law, making it easier for owners to repair devices themselves or to take them to independent repair shops. Because California is one of the world’s largest economies, this iFixit-cosponsored bill may make it easier for people all over the US to repair their devices.

    The law, which joins similar efforts in New York, Colorado, and Minnesota, is tougher than some of its predecessors.

    Read Article >
  • Sean Hollister

    Oct 9, 2023

    Sean Hollister

    Google will stock Pixel 8 spare parts for seven years

    Pixel 8 Pro shown in bay blue.
    The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
    Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    Google isn’t just promising seven years of upgrades for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro — the company says it’ll also stock spare parts for seven years as well.

    “Parts will be available for seven years. That’s part of our commitment,” Soniya Jobanputra, director of product management at Google, told Android Authority. “[W]e need to make our parts available so you can keep your hardware alive for that long.”

    Read Article >
  • Sean Hollister

    Oct 6, 2023

    Sean Hollister

    Lenovo exec promises 80 percent of its devices will be consumer-repairable by 2025

    Lenovo’s rollable laptop concept sitting on a desk with its screen fully extended.
    Lenovo’s rollable laptop concept.
    Photo by Jon Porter / The Verge

    At first, Lenovo only seemed casually jealous of Framework’s modular repairable laptops — first, it sent a cease-and-desist over a Framework power button, then it unveiled its own modular concept laptop dubbed Project Aurora with no promise to actually build such a thing.

    But it looks like the ThinkPad and Motorola owner might actually be serious about ramping up repairability. “More than 80 percent of our devices will be able to be repaired at the customer,” Lenovo executive Luca Rossi told the Canalys EMEA Forum 2023, according to The Register.

    Read Article >
  • Umar Shakir

    Oct 2, 2023

    Umar Shakir

    Apple will no longer fix the $17,000 gold Apple Watch

    Beyonce Apple Watch gold band
    Queen B with that exclusive all-gold link band and original Apple Watch Edition.

    It was never clear who the $10,000 to $17,000 18-karat gold Apple Watch was for, beyond celebrities and the ultrarich, but I hope whoever bought one way back in 2015 expected Apple to stop supporting them at some point. That day has come. Apple has now internally listed all first-gen Apple Watch models, including the solid-gold Edition, as “obsolete,” MacRumors reports.

    Apple’s obsolete label doesn’t just mean the end of software support. That ship has sailed; the original Apple Watches (widely referred to as Series 0) never updated beyond watchOS 4.3.2 in 2018. It means the end of hardware support: the company will no longer provide parts, repairs, or replacement services.

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  • Jay Peters

    Sep 27, 2023

    Jay Peters

    There might be some hurdles to getting some kind of federal right to repair legislation passed for agricultural equipment.

    According to Monarch Tractor CEO Praveen Penmetsa, the problem right now is that farmers “cannot let somebody monkey with [their] emissions equipment that is not certified to do so.” He argues that if the industry moves to electric and zero emissions, then its not a question of emission equipment anymore.

    The House just introduced the Agricultural Right to Repair Act. We’ll see how far it gets.

  • Emma Roth

    Sep 25, 2023

    Emma Roth

    iFixit has good news and bad news about the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s repairability

    While Apple may have made the iPhone 15 Pro Max easier to repair physically, a teardown from iFixit reveals it still comes with the same parts pairing constraints as its predecessors.

    Like the iPhone 14, iFixit found that the iPhone 15 lineup has a redesigned midframe that you can access by removing the device’s screen or back glass. However, iFixit notes that the internals on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max live behind the screen, rather than the back glass, as is the case with the base iPhone 15 and 15 Plus as well as the iPhone 14 lineup.

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  • Jay Peters

    Sep 20, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Congress is trying another right to repair bill for farming equipment.

    The bill, introduced in the House, is called the Agriculture Right to Repair Act, as reported by 404 Media — meaning it shares the same name as a similar bill introduced in the Senate last year. Hopefully this House version gets off the ground.

  • Emma Roth

    Sep 19, 2023

    Emma Roth

    iFixit retroactively dings the iPhone 14 over Apple’s parts pairing requirement

    The back of the iPhone 14
    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    iFixit is dropping the repairability score on the iPhone 14. While the organization originally gave the phone a seven out of 10 to indicate high repairability, iFixit has lowered that rating to a four after taking into account parts pairing requirements that make fixing the device a hassle.

    When iFixit announced its score for the iPhone 14 last year, it said it was looking mainly at the repair-friendly design of the device. Unlike its other devices, Apple included a rear glass panel that you can pop off with basic repair tools, including a heating mat, suction handle, and an opening pick. While this design change was notable at the time, iFixit acknowledges that it missed the significant hurdles to repairability programmed within iPhones in general.

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  • Victoria Song

    Sep 13, 2023

    Victoria Song

    California passes right-to-repair act guaranteeing seven years of parts for your phone

    A person repairing an iPhone.
    California just passed a right-to-repair act in its state legislature — right in Big Tech’s backyard.
    Image: Apple

    California just became the third state to pass an electronics right-to-repair act. Senate Bill 244 passed in a 50–0 vote in the California state Assembly on September 12th. The bill also passed the California Senate back in May with a 38–0 vote. The bill is now headed for a final concurrence vote in the Senate before heading to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.

    California now follows in the footsteps of Minnesota and New York. Both states approved similar right-to-repair legislation in the past year. However, the California bill stands out in that it requires companies to expand access to repair materials like parts, tools, documentation, and software for a longer period of time. The bill outlines three years for products costing $50 to $99.99 and seven years for products priced at $100 or more. The bill will cover electronics and appliances made and sold after July 1st, 2021.

    Read Article >
  • Jay Peters

    Sep 13, 2023

    Jay Peters

    California is on the precipice of turning its Right to Repair bill into law.

    The state’s legislature has passed Senate Bill 244, according to iFixit, and all it needs to become law is to pass a “minor procedural vote” in the state Senate and then be signed by governor Gavin Newsom.

    In August, Apple said it would support the bill in a move that was a major surprise. The company talked up the iPhone 15 Pro’s repairability in its event keynote on Tuesday.

  • Emma Roth

    Aug 29, 2023

    Emma Roth

    iFixit wants Congress to let it hack McDonald’s ice cream machines

    McDonald’s ice cream machines are so notorious for breaking that it’s become a meme. But now we may have some glimmer of Shamrock Shake-flavored hope: not only has iFixit performed a teardown of McDonald’s machines, but it’s also petitioning the government to let it create the parts required for people to fix them.

    As shown in a video posted to YouTube, iFixit purchased the same ice cream machine model used by McDonald’s and spent hours trying to get it up and running. The machine spit out numerous error codes that iFixit says “are nonsensical, counterintuitive, and seemingly random, even if you spent hours reading the manual.”

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  • Emma Roth

    Aug 23, 2023

    Emma Roth

    Surprise: Apple now supports California’s right to repair

    Illustration of the Apple logo on a light and dark green background.
    Illustration: The Verge

    In a major reversal, Apple is now expressing support for a right-to-repair bill in California, as reported by TechCrunch and iFixit. In a letter to California Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman, Apple says it endorses the SB 244 bill, which requires manufacturers to give customers and independent repair shops the appropriate tools, manuals, and parts to repair damaged electronics and appliances.

    “Apple supports California’s Right to Repair Act so all Californians have even greater access to repairs while also protecting their safety, security, and privacy,” Apple said in a statement to The Verge. “We create our products to last and, if they ever need to be repaired, Apple customers have a growing range of safe, high-quality repair options.”

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  • Wes Davis

    Aug 16, 2023

    Wes Davis

    You can get genuine Pixel 7A parts at iFixit now

    A picture of the Pixel 7A screen repair kit from iFixit.
    The iFixit Pixel 7A screen repair kit.
    Image: iFixit

    DIY repairs for the Google Pixel 7A just got a lot easier as famed right-to-repair-supporting website iFixit has added official parts for Google’s newest slab phone to its store. iFixit has been stocking genuine Google Pixel phone parts for over a year after it made a deal with Google that followed a recent trend by phone makers to improve the accessibility of OEM components.

    When we reviewed Google’s more affordable flagship in May, Allison Johnson called the Pixel 7A the best midrange Android phone for most people thanks to good build quality, a great camera, and an improved 90Hz OLED display.

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  • Jul 31, 2023

    Wes Davis and Richard Lawler

    Microsoft’s repairability push now extends to Xbox controllers, too

    A photo showing the Elite 2 controller
    Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

    Microsoft has started selling controller parts on its online store. Owners of both the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller and the standard Xbox Wireless Controller can head to the Microsoft store right now to buy replacement boards, sticks, buttons, covers, and more. Now, if your shoulder buttons are broken or your sticks are drifting, it means you don’t have to rely on third-party sources for parts and directions to attempt a repair that could be much cheaper than replacing controllers that can cost $59.99 or $179.99 brand-new.

    The Elite series 2 controller repair kits range in price from $23.99 for button sets to $59.99 for a replacement PCBA and motor assembly. As you’d expect, prices are lower for the standard controller, starting at $19.99 for just the controller’s top case and going up to $34.99 for the PCBA and vibration motor. Replacement top cases are available in black and white variants, as are the buttons — sorry, fluorescent color fans.

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