STATEMENT: Apple supports Right to Repair after years of opposition

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In an unexpected about-face, Apple announced on Wednesday that it supports  the Right to Repair Act moving through the California Legislature. For years, Apple has been one of the most visible opponents of repair access, lobbying against giving consumers and independent repair shops what they need to fix devices. However, with the Right to Repair movement gaining recognition and support — and leading to laws in other states — Apple has reversed course and commended SB 244 for striking the right balance between “consumer choice and reliable repairs.”

Senate Bill 244, authored by state Sen. Susan Eggman, will provide consumers and independent repair shops the tools, parts and repair information they need to fix broken electronics and appliances. The California State Assembly is currently debating the bill, with a vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee expected next week.

Advocates have been pushing for Right to Repair legislation in California for five years. Similar bills have died in the Senate Appropriations Committee the past two years after intense industry lobbying efforts against their passage. But public support for the Right to Repair in the state has grown alongside a swell of national momentum. New York, Colorado and Minnesota all passed their own Right to Repair laws in the past year. 

In response to Wednesday’s announcement from Apple, CALPIRG State Director Jenn Engstrom made the following statement

“When you buy something, you should be able to do what you want with it. But when it comes to repair, for too long, electronics manufacturers have made it difficult to live by that core principle. We commend Apple for correcting course on Right to Repair. This move by one of the biggest tech companies in the world is a sign that the Right to Repair is an idea whose time has come. Now, California’s legislators need to fix our laws so we can fix our stuff.” 

Nathan Proctor, PIRG’s national Right to Repair campaign director, added: 

“Apple’s reversal of its long-standing opposition to Right to Repair is a direct result of the dedication of our scrappy band of advocates, tinkerers and fixers. Credit should go to people like the small business owners who had to close down their repair shops to drive hours to places like Sacramento in order to explain how repair restrictions impact them and their customers. This campaign is built off regular people who know that the Right to Repair is the right thing to do, and took action in the face of resistance from the biggest companies in the world. Thanks to the incredible work of CALPIRG and our California Right to Repair coalition, we’re closer than ever to a more fixable world.” 

Nick Lapis, Director of Advocacy for Californians Against Waste, a co-sponsor of SB 244, added:

“Apple isn’t just a leader in the industry, they are also one of the biggest homegrown companies in California, so they carry a lot of weight in the halls of the capitol. Having their support is a game-changer for Right to Repair policy broadly, and for SB 244 specifically. It’s inspiring to see that Senator Susan Eggman’s tenacity, coupled with pressure from the passionate community of repair advocates, was able to get a behemoth the size of Apple to not only change their longstanding policy but to also buck the rest of the industry. The Right to Repair train is leaving the station, and it’s time for the rest of Silicon Valley to hop on!”

Liz Chamberlain, iFixit’s Director of Sustainability, a cosponsor of SB 244 added:

“It’s not just about providing parts and tools for repairs; it’s about empowering consumers to make environmentally responsible choices. Right to Repair has been building momentum in Big Tech’s backyard. It’s about time Apple opens the front door.”

CALPIRG staff and volunteers with Senator Susan Eggman and our partners at Californians Against Waste and the Electronic Frontier Foundation calling for the Right to Repair.Photo by Staff | TPIN