Save Our Shops

After Apple’s latest iPhone trick, Right to Repair is angry

The Right to Repair movement has taken plenty of initiative, used strong wording, and pushed hard for action during its short but impactful existence. Its members and leaders have tried to work with Washington, be straightforward with the manufacturing giants they in many ways oppose, and play it straight.

After the latest iPhone release, though…Right to Repair and its flagship organization, The Repair Association, are straight-up angry.

The reason? Apple’s iPhone 13 completely disables its flagship Face ID functionality when you replace its screen.

iFixit confirmed this repeatedly in their lab, testing with many different phones, and their results have been replicated by numerous repair professionals. It’s important to note that this seems to be ongoing; Apple itself has pledged to walk back the function as recently as two days ago:

“It was a dark day for independent repair shops across the country,” The Repair Association wrote in an open letter to its members, which begins:

“Dear Legislator, Apple has been chipping away at iPhone repair work outside their control for years now. With changes to the iPhone 13, they may have been aiming to shatter the independent repair market completely.

After Right to Repair advocates raised the alarm, Apple recently pledged to walk back this lock. If they hadn’t, the loss of iPhone screen repair service revenue—a major portion of many of our businesses—could have caused some shops to shut their doors, leaving those communities without access to affordable repair services. This time, the tone of TRA’s words is not light. It’s plain irate. Here’s more from the letter:

“…we shouldn’t have to scream bloody murder every time a manufacturer institutes anti-repair designs. If we want independent repair shops to exist in our local communities, we have no choice but to enact Right to Repair reforms to protect them from this predatory, monopolistic behavior.”

That’s where you come in. Sign the letter to show your legislators how crucial Right to Repair is to continue the viability of independent repair businesses across the country.


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