Right to Repair

Right to Repair

A few weeks ago I noticed that the lightning port on my iphone 8 was not working very well. My headphones kept cutting out and the power cord would fallout of the lightning connector. I decided to fix it myself rather than take it somewhere.

I had used iFixit before to fix a laptop and my previous iphone. I knew they had good repair manuals and parts, so I decided to see what they had. Unfortunately the lightning connector in an iphone 8 sits behind everything so I pretty much had to tear the phone completely apart. The repair manual had 60+ steps. It was daunting, but I thought what the heck.

So I ordered the parts and tools. It cost me about $100 and 2 hours of my time. I was surprised. I thought it would take longer. The hardest part was getting the cover off. The screws are ridiculously tiny(1-2mm) so it was challenging. I did drop 1 screw, but that particular part was held in place by several so it didn’t seem that critical.

I just wanted to mention all this to talk about right to repair. I am very much a fan of right to repair. I believe if you buy something and own it, you should be able to repair it yourself if you want. Unfortunately, Apple is not such a fan. They do somethings right when it comes to encryption and privacy, but they are on the wrong side of right to repair. They do everything they can to make it incredibly difficult.

You might be saying but Sam I am never going to take apart my iphone so right to repair doesn’t really matter to me. You would be mistaken. The best analogy would be automobiles. There are right to repair laws around the automotive industry. Imagine if the only place you could buy tires for your Ford was at the Ford dealer and even if you could buy tires somewhere else you couldn’t put them on because it required a special tool that only Ford possessed. They would have a monopoly and could charge whatever they want and you would have no choice. Without right to repair laws they could do that for every part on the car. Right to repair laws are critical in the automotive industry. It keeps a bunch of parts manufacturers and mechanics in business and keeps costs down. We all benefit.

If you are interested in learning more about this issue, here are a couple websites to check out:

If you happen to have any electronics that need repaired (laptops, cell phones, tablets, cameras, etc.) be sure to check out iFixit. They have very detailed repair manuals and videos and sell all the tools and parts you might need.