Third-party repair stores are a common option if you drop or break your smartphone, but Apple is reportedly not a fan of these alternative repair options. Apple is one of several high-profile companies that have been lobbying against a New York state bill that would make it easier to independent stores and users to repair devices. According to Motherboard, the Fair Repair Act would have companies sell replacement parts and tools to everyone, bans software locks that would limit repairs and, in some cases, have companies provide repair guides publicly. However, Apple and other companies have come out aggressively against the proposed legislation. Along with Apple, other companies who have lobbied against the Fair Repair Act include Toyota, Caterpillar and Verizon.
Like any farmer, Guy Mills Jr. has had his share of equipment trouble. In the past, Mills, who grows corn, soybean and alfalfa on his 3,810-acre farm in Ansley, Neb., would have fixed his machinery himself. But like so many essential tools, Mills' equipment has become so technologically complex that he needs outside help when it breaks down. Unfortunately for him, that help can eat up time and money, both of which have been in short supply. "If you have a bad alternator, they connect a computer to your tractor and it tells them the alternator is bad," says Mills, 57.
Michael Oberdick owns two small gadget repair shops in northwestern Ohio. He and his technicians spend their days at iOutlet replacing busted screens, repairing battered motherboards, and generally making life easier for people who've done something stupid with their gadgets. He found this job far easier just five years ago, when he started repairing phones for friends. Back then, anyone with basic tools, a little patience, and an instruction manual could fix just about anything. But these days, performing all but the most basic repairs requires specialized tools and knowledge that companies like Apple and Samsung guard jealously.
He then opened his own mechanic shop, but religious persecution persisted. There was no U.S. Embassy in Iran, so in 1987, he and a cousin finally sought political asylum in Lahore, Pakistan, and applied to go to an English-speaking country. Farsi was his native language, but he had always been fascinated with English, especially after listening to the music of Pink Floyd. For that reason, he applied to go to Australia, England, New Zealand or the U.S.
If you've ever wondered why nobody other than Apple is officially licensed to fix your iPhone, it's because the device titan has locked out everyone else from accessing manuals or spare parts. This pushes small electronics shops to buy used or counterfeit parts of dubious quality. But back in January, five states introduced "right to repair" bills that would force Apple and other device manufacturers to give the public access to proper instructions and components. Surprising no one, tech titans have been lobbying to kill those bills in at least two of those states. According to a report by New York's Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the companies that lobbied against the state's bill include: Apple, Verizon, Toyota, Lexmark, Caterpillar, Asurion, and Medtronic, as well as the Consumer Technology Association (which represents electronics manufacturers).