Apple is known for designing its products in a way that except for Apple experts none can easily repair them in case of any issues. For this, it seems the company is trying hard to kill the ‘Right To Repair’ bill in California which might work against Apple.
The ‘Right To Repair’ bill which has been adopted by 18 states, is currently under discussion in California. According to this bill, consumers will get the right to fix or mod their devices without any effect on their warranty. The company has managed to lobby California lawmakers and pushed the bill till 2020.
Apple just killed #RightToRepair legislation in California by telling lawmakers that consumers will hurt themselves trying to fix their own iPhones.
— Kay-Kay Clapp (@kaykayclapp) April 30, 2019
In a recent report by Motherboard, an Apple representative and a lobbyist has been privately meeting with legislators in California to encourage them to go off the bill. The company is doing so by stoking fears of battery explosions for the consumers who attempt to repair their iPhones.
The Apple representative argued that the consumers might hurt themselves if they accidentally end up puncturing the flammable lithium-ion batteries in their phones.
In a statement to The Verge, California Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, who first introduced the bill in March 2018 and again in March 2019, said, “While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns.”
Last quarter, Apple’s iPhone sales slowed down so the company anticipates that consumers may buy new handsets instead of getting the old one repaired.
But the fact that the batteries might get punctured might bother many and will surely have enough speculations around it. Kyle Wiens, iFixit co-founder laughs at the fact about getting an iPhone battery punctured during a repair. Though he admits the possibility but according to him, it rarely happens.
Wiens says, “Millions of people have done iPhone repairs using iFixit guides, and people overwhelmingly repair these phones successfully. The only people I’ve seen hurt themselves with an iPhone are those with a cracked screen, cutting their finger.”
He further added, “Whether it uses gasoline or a lithium-ion battery, most every car has a flammable liquid inside. You can also get badly hurt if you’re changing a tire and your car rolls off the jack.”
But a recent example from David Pierce, WSJ tech reviewer, justifies the explosion.
I should be clear this is 100% my fault, I was trying to take a phone apart for a video and literally stabbed the battery with a screwdriver by accident. I am an idiot, and also okay. Except for the idiot part.
— David Pierce (@pierce) April 3, 2019
With so much talk around repairing and replacing, it’s difficult to predict if the ‘Right to Repair’ bill with respect to iPhones, will come in force anytime soon. Only in 2020 we will get a clearer picture of the bill. Also, we will come to know if consumer safety is at stake or is it related to the company benefits.