Right to Repair Advances in Illinois as Apple Runs into More Repair Issues

Our Right to Repair campaign’s goal is to pass reforms at the state level across the country to give us what we need to fix our stuff. In 2018, propelled by news of battery issues on iPhones and more, we’re making progress. 

On April 12, the Illinois House Consumer Protection Committee voted to advance the Illinois PIRG-backed Digital Fair Repair Act House Bill 4747 which would guarantee consumers and small businesses access to the parts, tools, schematics and diagnostic tools necessary for repair. This is the second Right to Repair bill to pass out of its committee of origin so far in 2018. 

Meanwhile, Apple made news again for repairability problems which Right to Repair reforms would solve. 

News broke on April 10 that users with iPhone 8s that had their screen replaced with an aftermarket parts could no longer use their touchscreens. A lot of people crack their phone screens. Yet, Apple doesn’t make the replacement screens available to the thousands of repair shops that people take those phones to in order to be fixed. Many people live far from an authorized repair location, or just need their phone fixed quickly.

Right to Repair reforms would give customers and independent repair shops access to the tools, parts and schematics necessary for repair. The news that the latest iOS update makes the touchscreen inoperable on iPhone 8s with an aftermarket screen replacement is just another example of why we should have access to the right parts. 

The fact that people need their screen fixed shouldn't be an afterthought to these companies. 

In Norway, Apple decided to sue a local repair shop for repairing phones using aftermarket screens, despite the fact that Apple doesn’t offer to sell their original screens or the tools they use to calibrate them. 

Both these stories highlight why we need a solution for repair, as new research underscores how electronic waste is damaging the environment. Most of the carbon footprint of these products is in mining and manufacturing - 85-95% according a new study by McMaster University - and their climate impact has tripled in the last 10 years. 

Extending the life of these products is the single most important way to address this issue. To get the latest and take action, visit our Right To Repair Campaign page.

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