California will be the 18th state to propose a "Right to Repair" bill for electronics. It would require hardware manufacturers to make repair information, alongside equipment and service parts, available to product owners and independent repair shops. California assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman detailed the legislation that aims to give more users control over their gadgets. Instead of paying a high price to a manufacturer to fix an electronic, Eggman says some people are forced to prematurely upgrade when they should have other repair options. "The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence," Eggman said in a statement.
Today, Apple Inc has announced an expansion of its Independent repair provider Program to include Mac products. This means the program will provide parts and training to qualified independent repair shops. Apple launched the program last year in the US, but it only covered iPhones. Later on, it expanded this repair program into Europe and Canada. Now around 140 repair stores with 700 locations have reportedly signed up.
In new Apple computers with its custom T2 chip (currently the iMac Pro and MacBook Pro 2018 models) it serves the purpose of "the System Management Controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller." That means it can handle the system's secure boot system and on the fly encryption, as well as image processing for the FaceTime camera. While the enhanced security is nice, it has additional implications. According to MacRumors and shown on documents posted by Motherboard, anyone doing significant repair work on these systems will be left with a nonfunctioning system until they run the "Apple Service Toolkit 2" diagnostic software. For the MacBook Pro that includes "display assembly, logic board, top case (the keyboard, touchpad, and internal housing), and Touch ID board," and on the iMac Pro, it's the logic board or SSD.
My co-worker, Tracey, held her iPhone like a baby bird with a bent wing. I stared at the dark screen. The device was still on, but stuck between the worlds of being living technology, and a busted iPhone. She explained that while making a phone call shortly after having third-party iPhone screen repair company iCracked replace her shattered iPhone 6 screen, the device made a popping sound, and got really hot in one corner. Then, her screen cracked, and burnt her ear.