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The law was initially welcomed with frowns by some, including Apple. However, the Cupertino giant had a change of heart, leading it to the endorsement of California Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman’s bill.
As reported in August, the new law aims to do the following:
The bill is expected to affect different tech companies and manufacturers to provide “sufficient service literature and functional parts” to consumers and repair facilities to repair their products. It specifies that the repair materials for products with prices between $50 and $99.99 should be made available in California for three years after the products’ last manufacturing dates. Meanwhile, it says products beyond $99.99 should be given at least seven years for repair support.
It adds that unauthorized repair service providers or facilities would have “to disclose if it uses replacement parts that are used or from a supplier that is not the manufacturer.” In the end, it stresses that the city attorney, county counsel, district attorney, or Attorney General may bring an action in superior court to impose civil liability should the law be violated by any tech company. According to the bill, the penalties will cost $1,000 per day for the first violation, $2,000 per day for the second, and $5,000 per day for the third and subsequent violations.
Complying with the new law shouldn’t be a challenge for Apple as it reflects the giant’s current Self-Service Repair Program, which provides customers with genuine Apple parts, tools, and repair manuals for their own out-of-warranty repair. Moreover, the company provides product support for up to five or seven years (depending on the part availability), which means it complements the bill’s descriptions.
Its support for the law and its repair program, nonetheless, still don’t make Apple the ultimate saint when it comes to repairability. As repeatedly stressed by repair website iFixit in its recent teardown reviews, Apple’s pairing system remains a huge problem among independent repair shops. This led the group to drop the repairability score of iPhone 14 from 7/10 rating to 4/10. The iPhone 15 Pro Max also received the same number for its provisional score, which iFixit said the unit was “lucky” to have.