Apple is facing another antitrust issue over its ‘Right to Repair’ policy. Recently, President Joe Biden passed an executive order to the U.S Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draft new Right to Repair rules which will allow iPhone users to get their smartphones repaired from independent service providers or self-repair.
Apple’s Co-Founder Steve Wozniak has come out in support of the ‘Right to Repair’ policy, saying that it is monopolistic to not sell products as open-source. Without referring to Apple’s leadership or its repair policy, Wozniak criticized the limitation of allowing users to repair their own devices.
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak says Right to Repair can more profitable for Apple
In a 10 minutes video message on a non-profit organization ‘Repair Preservation Group’ YouTube channel, Wozniak used his self-exploration journey to technology to say that allowing people to repair their devices will flourish creative minds. He added that Apple II was a profitable product because it allowed users to modify the tech according to their needs and catered to their technical curiosity. He strongly supports the self-repair community.
Why stop them, why stop the self-repair community, why stop the right to repair people. Look at the Apple II, it’s shipped with full schematics, designs and software source listings, code listings, totally open source.
The Apple II was modifiable and expandable to the maximum. People figures out how to convert the early display into having lowercase characters and stuff with their own hardware added. This product was the only source of profits for Apple for the first 10 years of the company. This was not a minor product and it was not that successful on pure luck.
There were a lot of good things about that being so open that everyone could join the party. Like the movie ‘Beautiful Minds’, when companies cooperate with each other they can actually have better business than if they’re totally protective and monopolistic and not working with others just totally competitive.
Anyway, how is Apple hurt by the openness of the Apple II, I wonder? More than what’s right and what’s wrong, that aspect of self-repair is also motivation and joy; Technical people wanting to grow up technical, knowing how to write the right kind of software, and develop the right kind of hardware. Doing these things just to prove themselves they’ve got a little special skill in the world and they can show it off to others. It’s very motivating for creative minds, believe me, that’s how I grew up.
It’s time to recognize the right to repair more fully. I believe that companies inhibit it because it gives the companies power and control over everything and I guess a lot of people’s minds power over others equates to money and profits. It’s time to do the right things.
Apple and Microsoft only allow users to get their devices repaired from companies’ repair centers or authorized dealers. FTC called this practice ‘anti-competitive and the European Union has scrapped the practice by passing a new historic ‘Right to Repair’ rating law which requires companies to label how long would a product last, and repairability rating. It is a win for consumers as they will have sufficient information on how long their electronic device will last and how it can be repaired.
Although Apple is expanding its independent repair program, it is also lobbying against the ‘Right to Repair’ laws in the United States.