Apple's surprising about-face on 'right to repair'

After years of opposition, the company now supports a major bill.

The Kahney family practices trickle-down iPhone upgrades.

Each year, I typically buy a new iPhone — ostensibly to review it for the Cult of Mac website, but in reality because, well, I just can’t resist.

My old iPhone then gets passed to my wife, who doesn’t care one whit about having the latest and greatest but does like having a good camera. (Note: This arrangement is firmly her idea, not some sexist bullshit imposed by me.)

Then her old iPhone gets passed down to one of our four kids, who all use hand-me-downs.

It’s a great system. One of the kids is still using an old iPhone 6 Plus, which is still going strong after nine years. (Admittedly, that old donkey is a replacement for a more recent model that was smashed — a not-uncommon occurrence.)

It’s a testament to the longevity of Apple’s devices. Even though critics accuse the company of forced obsolescence — especially for using sealed-in batteries — our own experience is that these devices get many, many years of use.

And it’s going to get even better. After years of lobbying against Right to Repair legislation, Apple has surprisingly done an about-face and is now supporting a new bill in California.

Apple now says it supports California’s Right to Repair Act, SB 244, after lobbying against it and similar bills for many years.

It’s an important development. Right to Repair is a growing movement, a backlash against planned obsolescence and the mountains of e-waste.

Apple’s been doing a lot of late to cut waste (like ditching chargers in the box) and to expand repairs (including DIY options). Throwing its weight behind California’s bill is a watershed moment, and will likely help the Right to Repair movement get similar legislation passed in other states.

Also in today’s newsletter:

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

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A message from the Cult of Mac Store

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One more thing ...

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

— Steve Jobs, 2005.

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