In an abrupt policy shift, Apple has decided to back California’s Right to Repair Act after years of opposing the legislation, according to Reuters. Company executives penned a letter to state lawmakers endorsing consumer access to repair resources for damaged Apple devices.
“We support “SB 244″ because it includes requirements that protect individual users’ safety and security as well as product manufacturers’ intellectual property,” Apple said in a statement. “We will continue to support the bill, so long as it continues to provide protections for customers and innovators.”
California State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman introduced the Right to Repair Act last March, maintaining that the legislation – co-authored by Senator Nancy Skinner – would “give consumers the choice to save some money.” The bill would also require manufacturers selling any products for more than $100 to guarantee the availability of replacement parts, manuals, and tools for an extended period of time, according to TechCrunch.
“Apple’s support for California’s Right to Repair Act demonstrates the power of the movement that has been building for years and the ability for industries to partner with us to make good policy to benefit the people of California,” Eggman said. “I’m grateful for their engagement on this issue and for leading among their peers when it comes to supporting access to repair.”
Apple’s policy team expressed support in writing, but warned that the company would not longer endorse the bill if it enabled repair shops to shut off anti-theft remote locks, which generally make it impossible to fix or activate old computers.
The tech giant is anxious to retain control over repair quality and customer experience. Historically, replacing an iPhone screen at a non-authorized store would nullify the cell phone’s warranty. Apple has consistently asserted that non-genuine repair components could harms its devices or prevent them from working in the future.