At a public hearing of the Australian Productivity Commission on the subject of the right to repair, iFixit boss Kyle Wiens spoke out in favor of measures to improve the repairability of end devices such as smartphones and notebooks. For years, iFixit has been showing teardowns of popular devices and assessing how well they can be repaired. At the same time, the company sells tools and replacement components.
About the hearing reports the website ZDNet. It was not just about hurdles such as glued components that are difficult to replace, but also about toggle contracts for suppliers. According to Vienna, it is often not possible to buy replacement components directly from the manufacturers, even though they use bar stock or only slightly adapted goods.
For example, iFixit tried to buy original batteries for Samsung’s Galaxy Earbuds from the German manufacturer Varta. Contracts between Varta and Samsung would prevent that. Apple has a history of installing modified hardware that only works in its own devices. Vienna also accuses Apple of having replacement components for outdated products destroyed rather than selling them to third-party companies such as iFixit.
Repair score for electrical appliances
Noisy ZDNet the Australian government is considering introducing a repair score for electrical appliances, as France is already stipulating for smartphones, PCs and televisions. Manufacturers must use certain criteria to indicate how easy (or difficult) products can be repaired. Such a score on the packaging or in the online shop is intended to put pressure on the manufacturers, as they can significantly influence the purchasing decision of interested parties.
The right to repair is currently an issue around the world. US President Joe Biden is working on a corresponding presidential ordinance and the EU has been working on repair-friendliness laws since the end of 2019.