Apple Takes Control of Repairs and the “Right to Repair”

*I am by no means a lawyer, tech, or iPhone specialist. This is simply my understanding of the newest Apple debacle.

Wait, what’s going on?

Apple is launching a new piece of software in all of the Apple iPhone batteries (only effecting the XR, XS, and XS Max as of now) that is meant to restrict third party repair shops, like Origami Handcannon, from being able to repair iPhones without losing minor features (in this case, Accurate Battery Health Readings).

This change does not directly effect the usage of your phone, but it does imply that Apple wants to keep ownership of your phone, even after you purchase it, by restricting your right to repair the device through third party establishments. Basically this forces the customer to pay inflated prices at Apple opposed to taking the phone to a third party shop or even replacing the battery (or other repairs) yourself!

Instead of seeing your battery health after replacing your battery, you will get a message saying that you need to service your phone. This message will not go away unless you go to Apple, or an Apple Certified repair shop, and have them replace your battery or recalibrate the battery to match serial numbers of the motherboard.

This creates tension for repair shops because this means a majority of Apple customers are going to abide by this “rule”. Apple can raise their prices as high as they want without any repercussions because the End-User License Agreement is also meant to prevent you or any other repair shop from fixing Apple products.

So, how do they know if the battery has been replaced?

Every battery will now have its own serial number that is attached to your specific phone. This means even replacing the battery with another Apple battery is still going to bring up that service message if the repair is not done by Apple. Only an Apple specialist will be able to reset the software that lets the phone know the battery has been changed correctly.

What is the “Right to Repair”?

Okay, I’ve been doing a lot of research on this, so let’s see if I can get this right.

So, the End-User License Agreement is what you agree to when you buy your phone. This means that you cannot modify the device any more from what it is the moment you purchase it, including repairs.

Most people are okay with this EULA because they do not play with phones or mess around with the software that is on the phones. This is why jailbreaking an iPhone was such a big deal back in the early 2010s, because it is technically illegal with that EULA.

I remember everyone talking about jailbreaking their iPhones and iPod Touches and the sort of “secrecy” behind it. Granted, I was in middle school at the time, but I remember people paying a lot of money to have their iPods unlocked and then talking about how its illegal. Which is true, but we, a bunch of middle schoolers, were not going to get in any trouble for it.

So, the EULA combined with Apple’s new battery tracking is going to deter a lot of people from repair shops, keeping Apple #1. Most times, bringing your phone to Apple results in a week-long wait for something that is “unfixable” and the Apple worker will encourage you to purchase a new phone, or charge you an incredibly inflated price to fix it.

Apple is attempting to completely monopolize their company, creating ways to keep the business inside of Apple. They are eliminating the repair industry completely, aiming to make as much money as they can by shoving new phones down everyone’s throat every time a slight inconvenience occurs.

If you want more information, read the articles tagged above. They might help to make things a little more clear. Be sure to comment below your feelings on the right to repair and Apple’s newest addition to the iPhone.

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