The threat from Lina Kahn’s FTC to root out “unlawful restrictions” seems to have done the trick.
From Brian X. Chen’s “What Apple’s New Repair Program Means for You (and Your iPhone)” in Thursday’s New York Times:
Apple was historically one of the most vocal opponents to the “right to repair” movement. The company cited security risks — like a customer’s data being hijacked during an unauthorized repair — as a primary reason to keep parts and instructions out of public reach.
For non-Apple customers, this news is thus significant. If Apple, one of the world’s most valuable public companies, is setting a new standard with repairs, you can expect other tech manufacturers to follow — especially if they want to avoid fines from the federal government.
“This announcement marks significant progress toward securing our right to repair, and we’re proud of Apple for making this bold move,” said [Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, a company that sells parts and publishes instructions for consumers to repair their electronics.]
My take: I was pretty sure Biden’s pick to head the FTC would have consequences. Some of you were skeptical.