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Cali Right-to-Repair law dropped, cracks screen, has to be taken to authorized repair shop

More consumer-friendly legislation killed by Golden State's politics

Ooh, that's gonna cost you

One of the biggest problems with locking down consumer devices and then forcing any repairs to go through authorized repair jobs is that it drives people to simply discard their devices. Anyone that has got a quote from Apple to fix a minor issue with their device will be able to assert that the price often isn't worth it.

And the markup is huge: as Apple accidentally made clear when it reduced the price for a battery replacement from $79 to $29 after it was caught up in a storm of protest over throttling. Apple gets to set prices if any repair shop has to sign a contract with Apple.

If there was a legal "right to repair" the likelihood of a new iPhone battery costing consumer $35 rather than $80 is approximately 100 per cent. Likewise, by locking down the memory in its computers – by literally soldering RAM onto the motherboard - Apple can and does charge an obscene markup on what is a commodity product. RAM costs up to four times as much if you buy from Apple – and Apple makes sure you have no other choice but to do exactly that.

In its recent laptops, Apple has literally removed the possibility to upgrade your memory later and requires you to decide and pay for memory up front. There is not a single good argument for this.


Super Cali optimistic right-to-repair's negotious, even though Apple thought it was something quite atrocious


All that extra cost is great for Apple's bottom-line but is literally coming out the pockets of America's consumers: which is something that you would expect the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee to understand.

The in-built costs that cause people to dump products and buy new ones rather than fix old ones is also great news for manufacturers in terms of new sales but bad news for the environment and a leading cause of "e-waste."

The tech industry's answer to the issue of e-waste? They have got better at being greener. "Electronic products manufacturers have developed robust policies and programs to ensure that they are continuously improving the sustainability of their products for their whole lifecycle, from design, to material sourcing, product performance, reuse, and responsible end of life management," the letter stated.

Of course there are probably really good, valid reasons for why members of the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee have decided not to support two consumers bill aimed at improving data privacy and giving people the right to fix their products. We look forward to hearing them at some point. ®

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