Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Apple

The Right To Repair Movement Is Forcing Apple To Change (vice.com) 165

The executive director of Repair.org says Apple has "decided to be nicer to consumers in order to stop them from demanding their right to repair," according to Motherboard. Slashdot reader Jason Koebler shared this article: It's increasingly looking like Apple can no longer ignore the repair insurgency that's been brewing: The right to repair movement is winning, and Apple's behavior is changing. In the last few months, Apple has made political, design, and customer service decisions that suggest the right to repair movement is having a real impact on the company's operations...

Apple has repeatedly made small concessions to its customers on the issues that Repair.org and the larger repair community have decided to highlight. The question is whether these concessions are going to be enough to satiate customers who want their devices to be easily repairable and upgradable, and whether the right to repair movement can convince those people to continue demanding fair treatment.

The article notes that at least 12 U.S. states are still considering "fair repair" laws, which would force Apple to sell replacement parts to both independent repair shops and the general public.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Right To Repair Movement Is Forcing Apple To Change

Comments Filter:
  • Anti-Apple Bias (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There is a definite anti-Apple bias on this site. Just recently, a story indicated that the Microsoft Surface couldn't be repaired or even opened up without effectively destroying it. That's clearly an attempt by Microsoft to make it extremely difficult to repair their devices. It's actually quite a bit more insidious than anything Apple has done. At least those devices can be repaired or at least disassembled without destroying them. Yet Slashdot mostly focuses on Apple and readers will bash Apple in every

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wow. Did you just fall off the turnip truck because right now it seems you survived the initial fall. This site is still mourning the death of Steve Jobs or did you miss the last 5 years of /. ?

      Both of these vendors are now in competition to raise the height of their protections around their walled gardens. As you've so recently and astutely mentioned.. Microsoft just caught up with Apple.. but only in the last few months. Maybe you should spend some time with your research before you start using your b

      • https://www.slashgear.com/appl...

        You really need to take at least one.. or two Xanax and come back to the keyboard in a couple of days.

        Peace out.

        You need to take a look at the last one, because unlike the others it pretends that it's only Apple, right? That's the primary reason you have to look at that one article.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This. I work for Microsoft, and I'm ashamed how we now require our devices to be destroyed to open them up. Epoxy is great for reliability, but when you have to break components to open them up, that's just going too far. That is why I just ordered a new iPad 10.5" rather than a Surface even though I get an employee discount.

    • Just recently, a story indicated that the Microsoft Surface couldn't be repaired or even opened up without effectively destroying it.

      I think that story [slashdot.org] is about "fright" to repair.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The bias is ridiculous and, because this site is associated with Linux and the open source community, it damages the credibility of Linux and open source in the process.

      Seriously? That's a bit dramatic considering these days, Slashdot is the rag mag of tech/IT. What you're saying may have been true 15 years ago, but that ship has sailed. While I agree about the bias (MS takes it equally on the chin, if not more), I seriously question the influence the Slashdot "community" actually has. It's a mess. Just co

    • Yeah, Slashdot, that bastion of Microsoft fanboyism, where's the outrage at the product that started shipping two days ago and no one has has a chance to interact with?

    • There is a definite anti-Apple bias on this site.

      In comparison with the anti-microsoft bias, i'd say apple is getting off lightly.

    • Re:Anti-Apple Bias (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @04:21AM (#54641765)

      It's actually quite a bit more insidious than anything Apple has done.

      Microsoft: Uses standard manufacturing process that just so happens to make a device a bitch to open and impossible to re-close without a standard manufacturing device.

      Apple: Creates a non-standard screw with no technical manufacturing advantages for the sole purpose of preventing 3rd parties from opening their device. Uses trademark and patent law to protect the design. Sues producers of the tools to prevent them from falling into the hands of repairers.

      You must have been smoking some seriously good stuff to have come up with your sentence. At least MS's design had a technical and manufacturing advantage. But you are right about one thing, the bias is ridiculous. Fuck Apple.

      • What non standard screw? Metric? Torx? Pentlobe? Tripoint? Trilobe? Robinson? Allen? spanner? triangle? Since in the US we have auto parts stores well stocked with imperial tools, and lacking in metric sizes. I have to wonder what people are trying to repair, or how they are trying to repair it. US auto manufacturers stop using imperial sizes around 1982. How many 35 year old cars are still running around? Yes it hard to repair thing without the correct tool.

        • The first Macintosh (and all the subsequent dinkyscreen Macs) used an extremely long torx screw to secure the case. It required an extremely long torx screwdriver that is still quite difficult to source. You could force the screw out carefully with the right long-handled flat-blade screwdriver and replace it with a phillips head, but it was a strong deterrent to opening the Mac. People don't want to have to jimmy open a machine they spent $5000 on.

          • by Megane ( 129182 )
            Back in the day, I took a regular Torx driver and ground down the plastic handle just enough for it to fit. That had nothing on plastic-welding a keyboard cover to close up a computer.
        • Pentlobe. The 100% Apple invention. They could have used other tamper resistant screws but they they wouldn't have had the legal muscle to attempt to keep the screwdrivers off the market.

          Yes it hard to repair thing without the correct tool.

          Exactly the point. Even more so when the right tool is not legally obtainable. We can thank the Chinese and the ineptitude of the USA Customs for our ability to open iPhones. The rest of the ones in your list were not actively protected by any company.

          • Keep the screw drivers off the market? lol You can by dozens of them from all over the place. Here's one for $1.90 from Walmart https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fos... [walmart.com]
          • by Megane ( 129182 )
            There's an electronics store five miles away from me (not Fry's) where I can get one, they sell iFixit tool sets. (Except I already have one of the medium-size iFixit tool sets and probably would already have the needed bit.)
      • by l20502 ( 4813775 )
        At least apple products are easier to clean than that fabric covered surface.
      • It's actually quite a bit more insidious than anything Apple has done.

        Microsoft: Uses standard manufacturing process that just so happens to make a device a bitch to open and impossible to re-close without a standard manufacturing device.

        Apple: Creates a non-standard screw with no technical manufacturing advantages for the sole purpose of preventing 3rd parties from opening their device. Uses trademark and patent law to protect the design. Sues producers of the tools to prevent them from falling into the hands of repairers.

        You must have been smoking some seriously good stuff to have come up with your sentence. At least MS's design had a technical and manufacturing advantage. But you are right about one thing, the bias is ridiculous. Fuck Apple.

        Ifixit must have been smoking the same thing, because they scored all Apple products with the evil screw with at least a "2" and even up to a "7" repairability, and the saintly glued Microsoft product a big fat "0".

        But sure, you can pretend that what Microsoft Microsoft did was using a standard manufacturing process - just that pretty much nobody ever uses it that way unless he wants to prevent you from trying to get inside that device. You can also pretend that not using any screws is more standard than u

    • Re:Anti-Apple Bias (Score:4, Insightful)

      by iampiti ( 1059688 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @04:57AM (#54641815)
      Some users may be biased against Apple, that you can't avoid in a large community but I believe Apple gets what they deserve here.
      What you may be right about is that maybe other companies also deserve some negativity from us. I personally despise the sealed battery strategy that has become the norm on smartphones and I hate every company for it. Some will call me hyprocrite for buying a non removable battery smartphone on my next change but I can't buy something that does not exist (I won't considered unknown brands).
      Another trends I hate is the "Mobilization" of desktop computers (App stores, built in publicity (clean installations of Win 10 have crap like Candy Crush preinstalled, publicity in Windows explorer...), spying, apps force UIs designed for touch on everyone...)
      We users are losing rights on our devices and if we don't push back we'll keep losing
      • Re:Anti-Apple Bias (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @07:58AM (#54642207)
        I think MSFT gets its fair share of criticism here. So does Android/Google. Apple was the leader in the closed ecosystem, so they got more attention for that reason. MSFT doesn't appeat to want to be left out and is working hard to get its fair share of that criticism.

        I will always give preferences to devices that are somewhat repairable. Easily replaceable screens and batteries (and possibly USB ports) should be a selling feature. I hope people continue to make it clear that is what they want. I understand that devices might be more resilient and weatherproof if they are epoxy filled, but I owned had plenty of devices which were easily repaired yet fully met by 'toughness' needs. Some people might need more rugged stuff than me.
    • There is a definite anti-Apple bias on this site.

      There's a definite anti powerful dickhead bias on this site. And you know, I don't have a problem with that.

      Just recently, a story indicated that the Microsoft Surface couldn't be repaired or even opened up without effectively destroying it. That's clearly an attempt by Microsoft to make it extremely difficult to repair their devices. It's actually quite a bit more insidious than anything Apple has done.

      So? Microsoft sell far, far fewer units than Apple, so

    • Not at all. M$ is just using an Apple tactic. We'll do what we want, until courts tell us we can't. Then we play dumb and go ooooooo so, that wasn't the right thing to do, now we know.
      • by Megane ( 129182 )
        And a few years from now, when Apple swings its sine curve back toward repairability, Microsoft's cosine curve will still be deep into fuck-you territory.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "There is a definite anti-Apple bias on this site"

      Well, yea. When your company goes so far as to A. treat its customers like children and prevent them from using 18+ apps that they PAID FOR (tortious interference of business/contract) B. go out of your way to fuck your customers over on repair charges and C. claim to innovate when you just copy everything that's been done before or conceptualized on TV, using commodity parts they didn't even fucking design, well yea I'm certainly not going to like that comp

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      There is a definite anti-Apple bias on this site.

      You must be new here.

      If you want to find out how much of an anti-Apple bias this site has, just make a post that is only slightly critical of Apple and see how long it takes for that to get modded into oblivion.

    • by MercTech ( 46455 )

      Actually, you have people that gave up on Apple even before Microsoft was more that a vague idea in a Harvard drop out's dreams.

      The Apple II required a proprietary ROM on the floppy drive to function. They actually put part of the disk operating system on the disk drive. This made Apple floppy drives $600 when with any other OS; you patched in the driver and installed a floppy for $99.00 from discounters or $249.00 from Radio Shack.

      And, if you ever repaired anything on an Apple II yourself; if you did nee

  • Don't stop now! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Saturday June 17, 2017 @11:37PM (#54641241)

    I hope consumers keep the pressure on, and don't get bought off with a few minor concessions. The time to enshrine the "right to repair" in law is now.

    If Apple and similar corporations get breathing room, they'll soon have things so twisted around that even opening one of their damned machines will bring the FBI swooping down on you...because terrorism, kittens, children, etc.

    • I hope consumers keep the pressure on, and don't get bought off with a few minor concessions. The time to enshrine the "right to repair" in law is now.

      If Apple and similar corporations get breathing room, they'll soon have things so twisted around that even opening one of their damned machines will bring the FBI swooping down on you...because terrorism, kittens, children, etc.

      No regulation needed. Just don't buy stuff that doesn't meet your demands. I am certain that if people only buy repairable products, then there will always be manufacturers of those products. And if people are fine with non-repairable items and buy them, then their will be manufacturers of those as well. You can still find flip phones because people are still buying them.

    • This isn't about the rights of consumers at all. As a consumer, once money has changed hands, the hardware is yours to do with as you please. Repair it yourself. Pay Apple to repair it for you. Pay one of those sketchy mall kiosks to do so. Use in a "will it blend" video. It's all good. It's your hardware and Apple has no say in what you do with it, or what you pay any random business to do with it.

      Hell, if you want to start your own repair business, you have the right to do so and Apple couldn't sto

    • Some stuff just can't be repaired by the consumer. For years we had products that said "no user serviceable parts inside." As electronic devices get thinner, they are pretty much glued together. Is anyone complaining because they can't repair their TV or microwave?
  • thats a huge reason why I stick with the PC... or maybe a hackintosh :P
  • Microsoft -1 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    iFixit has assigned a zero (0) score to the most recent MS PC. They wanted to assign a -1 since opening it actively destroys it. Apple is looking pretty good now, eh?

    • The dump I took after the bean burrito was an absolute atrocity, so let's all eat the shit I took after the Sauerkraut evening.

  • "Insurgency"? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    What a bunch of fucking drama queens.
  • Sony too (Score:5, Informative)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @01:05AM (#54641431)
    This better hit Sony. I repair laptops and there absolutely are no spare parts for Vaio laptops because Sony refuses to sell them to anyone, One of my customers got a screen repair quote of $800 from Sony for their $850 Vaio. Thankfully it was also used in a Toshiba so I got the exact screen on ebay. But HDD caddied, plate covers, USB off-boards, forget it.
  • So long as company takes its stuff back for recycling, internal design of a product is between them and their customers. The later may well insist that the product is modular, repairable and upgradable and make purchases accordingly. On the other hand, system on a chip designs held together with a lot of glue could well be cheaper, lighter and more durable mechanically. I wouldn't put a right to repair on the same footing as inallienable rights and would instead consider it a desirable product feature that

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday June 18, 2017 @02:24AM (#54641543) Homepage Journal

      So long as company takes its stuff back for recycling, internal design of a product is between them and their customers.

      A corporation is a legal construct whose very right to exist depends on the goodwill of the government, which in theory means The People. Once upon a time, in order to form a corporation at all, you had to demonstrate that there was a public interest. These days, you just fill out a form, and pay a fee.

      Recycling is a bare minimum requirement. The best form of "recycling" is reuse. And often, before you can reuse something, you have to repair it. Not to get all hippie dippy or anything, but repair and reuse is by far superior to recycling any time there's not a dramatic energy savings involved in an upgrade. The phone upgrade cycle is particularly needlessly wasteful — the power consumption is relatively irrelevant here, but phone power consumption is actually increasing so that cannot be a counterargument here in any case. But computers in general have reached a point where even relatively gutless machines are useful for years if they can be kept going, and even desktops haven't had a drop in power consumption in some years, either.

      • A corporation is only a legal construct because we choose to make it so. In the absence of a government-mandated or sanctioned legal identity, a "corporation" would simply be a bunch of people deciding to work on something together instead of individually. Who knows, they may decide to give their team a name, instead of referring to it as "that thing Bob, Joe, Mary, and I are working on together."

        Recycling/reuse is not a requirement. The issue here is one of reciprocity. Apple, Microsoft, et al are e
        • A corporation is only a legal construct because we choose to make it so.

          Sure. If we didn't make it a legal construct, it would be nothing. It wouldn't exist at all.

          In the absence of a government-mandated or sanctioned legal identity, a "corporation" would simply be a bunch of people deciding to work on something together instead of individually.

          No. What makes a corporation is the articles of incorporation. Otherwise, it's called a company if it's done for profit, or merely a group otherwise.

          Recycling/reuse is not a requirement.

          It is if you want to continue to have a biosphere.

    • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @02:34AM (#54641563)

      Do... do you try to be this stupid?

      Your first and second paragraphs are polar opposites. The REASON people are fighting for Right To Repair is because YOU CAN'T REPAIR a phone or laptop for 1/3rd of the price because of policies practiced by companies like Apple.

      You CAN'T legally get the diagnostics software. You CAN'T legally get the schematics to determine circuit paths (one capacitor blows and takes out a chain of parts... how do you know what parts are affected?). And Apple does stuff like the infamous "Error 53" where the home button is PAIRED to the motherboard and if you attempt to repair it, iOS intentionally bricks the phone and--amazingly!--it's a simple procedure for the Apple staff to fix... for a fee.

      I look forward to the day when my Ford Focus can only be serviced by Ford technicians, and I can only use Ford Certified (TM) tires on my wheels to ensure "optimum user experience."

      • They claim it bricks the phone for security reasons, whereas the real method to use would be for the fingerprint reader to simply cease to work after the os update. The owner can unlock the phone with the key code method until they go to the Apple Store for an authorized tech to re-pair the print reader module.

        But that would be common sense and not provoke fear in Apple customers to bring their devices to third party repair facilities. Apple has locked the customer out of the hardware deliberately since th

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        I look forward to the day when my Ford Focus can only be serviced by Ford technicians, and I can only use Ford Certified (TM) tires on my wheels to ensure "optimum user experience."

        I believe the auto industry already tried this and got smacked down hard for it.

        If Ford took the attitude of Apple in repairability, if you blew a tyre you'd need to remove the entire drive train to replace it and Fords recommendation would be to buy a new Ford. I've never understood the mindset of Apple fans when they'll accept that kind of treatment for a brand name.

  • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @05:38AM (#54641869) Journal

    If course they want to make hardware unrepairable. If you bought a computer 10-15 years ago, it would be unusable 5 years later because much faster CPUs had arrived.

    If you bought at decent spec'ed computer 5 years ago, it still perform really good. A new top of the line Intel 4 core CPU isn't that much better, compared to if you bought a computer in 2000 and was looking at a new one in 2005.
    The graphics card might be outdated, and you won't be able to run the latest games at Ultra settings but thats about it.

    • Uhm, no. Decent hardware bought a decade ago is still perfectly usable - not for modern games, obviously, but for everything else.

      • by hjf ( 703092 )

        No. It's not. Capacitors go bad.

        I get clients all the time asking "if I could just fix this computer so they don't have to buy a new one". Open it up and it's bad cap after bad cap.

        Besides, I just fixed a XPS420. It struggles a little with modern websites but it's fine. It's not "perfectly" usable. It's just "usable". Until you want to fullscreen a HD youtube video, of course.

        • Re: PC lifespan (Score:5, Informative)

          by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @09:31AM (#54642453)

          I still use a decade old Thinkpad. Works fine and the only two modern things inside it are the SSD and the WiFi card - I need the 802.11ac support. A Core2duo is absolutely fast enough for HD video. My decade old PC is doing fine as a home server. All solid capacitors FTW.

        • No. It's not. Capacitors go bad.

          My motherboards use solid capacitors, you insensitive clod! It's not that they never go bad, but they DO last longer than even the best electrolytics, and never suffer electrolyte failure.

  • Extend this... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LaughingRadish ( 2694765 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @06:52AM (#54642019) Journal

    This concept should be extended to enforce the right of people to install whatever they want on hardware they own. And no sneaking around that with semantics. So... want to sell something with a locked bootloader? Fine. Disclose to buyers how to unlock it. Want to sell something with Secure Boot? Fine. Disclose to buyers how they can install their own keys and disable Secure Boot.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Sunday June 18, 2017 @08:10AM (#54642249)

    apple imac pro is a joke as well they could of found away to make it easy to get to the ram / storage. But no we had to make it thinner.

There's nothing worse for your business than extra Santa Clauses smoking in the men's room. -- W. Bossert

Working...