Biden says his ‘right to repair’ order changed Apple policies

Biden says his ‘right to repair’ order changed Apple policies

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President Joe Biden says his ‘right to repair’ order changed Apple policies.
A recent executive order takes a strong stance on users’ right to repair.
Photo: White House

President Joe Biden says an executive order he signed in mid-January forced companies to loosen restrictions on who can repair their devices.

“Companies like Apple and Microsoft are changing their policies so folks will be able to repair their devices themselves,” he said Monday.

Biden acts on ‘right to repair’

The president’s tweet says, “When you own a product, you should be able to repair it yourself. That’s why I included support for the ‘right to repair’ in my Executive Order.”

He’s referring to an order he signed earlier in January that — among quite a few other measures — instructs the Federal Trade Commission to prevent companies from placing restrictions on who can repair their products.

Many companies have such restrictions, generally forcing users to get their devices fixed at authorized repair centers or face having their warranties voided. The limits aren’t only on DIYers but on small companies that do repairs.

Apple loosens DIY repair rules

While it’s true that Apple is a lot more open about users’ right to repair than it used to be, the biggest reversal happened before Biden’s executive order.

In November 2021, Apple revealed a new Self Service Program that will provide customers with the parts and tools they need to fix their own devices. It will launch in the United States this year, with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 the first to be supported. The Mac-maker says the program will expand to more devices and geographic areas later.

Of course, it’s possible Apple got advance warning of the executive order and started loosening its right-to-repair rules before the FTC forced it to do so.