Apple-Backed Right to Repair Bill Signed Into Law in California

California this week officially adopted new right to repair legislation, with California Governor Gavin Newsom this week signing SB 244 into law.

Apple Self Service Repair Program iPhone
The Right to Repair law requires companies to provide customers with the tools to diagnose and repair consumer electronics and appliances. Apple in August sent a letter urging California to adopt the bill, despite the fact that Apple has lobbied against other Right to Repair legislation.

Apple has already launched a Self Service Repair program for iPhones and Macs, with the repair program providing customers with repair kits, repair manuals, and components for repairs. Apple also has repair programs for independent repair shops, such as the Apple Authorized Service Provider option and the Independent Repair Provider program.

California's law requires service and repair facilities that are not authorized repair providers to disclose whether they're using replacement parts that are not from the device manufacturer, which would prevent Apple repair stores from using non-Apple parts without making that explicitly clear. As legitimate repair parts must come from Apple, the repair law in California is to Apple's benefit.

Manufacturers are also not required to make tools, parts, and documentation available for any component that would disable or override antitheft security measures, which encompasses Apple features like Face ID.

Independent repair shops have in the past complained that Apple forces them to sign invasive contracts, and the kits that Apple sells for self-service repair are not much more affordable than simply getting a repair direct from Apple, but California's law does ensure that customers have options other than the Apple Store.

SB 244 requires that Apple and other companies provide components, repair manuals, and other repair information to be available for seven years after the sale of any product that costs more than $99.99. It is applicable to products sold after July 1, 2021.

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Top Rated Comments

Blackstick Avatar
8 months ago
I was a Mac Genius for 7 years. Fact is, if you're not regularly repairing these devices daily and fully know their tolerances/peculiarities (and each phone has little tricks and "gotchas" as time goes on you learn them), most common folks don't have the dexterity, finesse, patience and nimble fingers to handle most component-level iPhone repairs. There's all sorts of annoying glue and fasteners that are unfamiliar to most people, ZIF/LIF connectors, non-magnetized screws, heat shields and display calibrations that need to be done.

Mac notebooks were tight quarters enough, iPhones are another magnitude beyond it.

The catch is Apple will see a ham-fisted repair, and charge out-of-warranty prices to remedy the damage or deny service entirely[B].[/B]

[B]If you don't know what GSX and a spudger is... this is a trap.[/B]
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
8 months ago

Curious what are the attached strings will come of this move from Apple
It's really useless since so many components are serialized, and require apple genuine parts and their proprietary service to re-authorize components - even if they are genuine apple but used parts harvested from broken phones.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boswald Avatar
8 months ago

It's really useless since so many components are serialized, and require apple genuine parts and their proprietary service to re-authorize components - even if they are genuine apple but used parts harvested from broken phones.
That could be a good thing, depending on perspective. Personally, I’d deal with the hassle of serial verification as long as the parts are genuine. There’s no way I’m taking a ~$1000 phone to a mall kiosk or no-name repair center.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AtomicDusk Avatar
8 months ago

I was a Mac Genius for 7 years. Fact is, if you're not regularly repairing these devices daily and fully know their tolerances/peculiarities (and each phone has little tricks and "gotchas" as time goes on you learn them), most common folks don't have the dexterity, finesse, patience and nimble fingers to handle most component-level iPhone repairs. There's all sorts of annoying glue and fasteners that are unfamiliar to most people, ZIF/LIF connectors, non-magnetized screws, heat shields and display calibrations that need to be done.

Mac notebooks were tight quarters enough, iPhones are another magnitude beyond it.

The catch is Apple will see a ham-fisted repair, and charge out-of-warranty prices to remedy the damage or deny service entirely[B].[/B]

[B]If you don't know what GSX and a spudger is... this is a trap.[/B]
Hello fellow Apple Store friend! I was an Inventory Control Specialist (before rebranded to Operations Specialist) for 7 years. I can't thank you enough for this comment. The other thing I'm curious about with this is the disposal side - if you replace a swollen battery as a consumer how is the safety of the shipment guaranteed?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
8 months ago
This Bill was to become law with or without ’s backing.
Backing it was a PR move to save face.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Powerbooky Avatar
8 months ago
Electronics have become more and more densely, all integrated into one or a couple of custom build chip packages. Repairing that is not as easy as computers +25 years ago.


"SB 244 requires that Apple and other companies provide components, repair manuals, and other repair information to be available for seven years after the sale of any product that costs more than $99.99. It is applicable to products sold after July 1, 2021."

So I will be able to self-repair AirPods?
You could, if you have the tools, skill and money for the spare parts set.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)