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Apple lifts some restrictions on iPhone repairs| GuyWhoKnowsThings


Apple said Thursday it would relax limits on repairing newer iPhones with used parts like screens, batteries and cameras, a change from its previous practice of using software to encourage people to work with new, more expensive parts approved by Manzana.

The change comes weeks after Oregon passed a law banning Apple's practice of tying parts to software, known as “part pairing.” Similar bills are being considered in Colorado and more than a dozen other states. Apple had opposed the Oregon legislation before its passage, saying customers could be left vulnerable to safety risks if Apple was required to allow lower-priced parts made by third-party suppliers.

In the past, if an iPhone owner broke a part (a screen, for example) and installed a genuine, used Apple screen purchased from a source like eBay, the replacement screen would not work properly because its serial number did not match. the in the Apple database. The only way to install a fully functional replacement part was to buy it from Apple, which had the tools to pair the part to the phone.

Apple's new policy will remove those restrictions for the iPhone 15, which it launched last year. Apple said the change would begin this fall and would apply to original Apple parts, that is, those made by iPhone suppliers. When a genuine replacement part is installed, your phone will work with it automatically, without the need for a technician to provide a serial number to Apple. The replacement part will work perfectly with the iPhone.

The reversal comes about five months after The New York Times published a analysis of Apple's increasing restrictions on iPhone repairwhich raised costs for consumers.

in a Press release In announcing the change, Apple only said that the change would remove part-pairing restrictions on screens, batteries, and other parts approved by Apple, not those made by third-party suppliers. Those parts are typically less expensive and could save customers money on repairs. Replacing a broken screen at an Apple Store costs about $300, about $100 more than work done by an independent store using a third-party screen.

An Apple spokesperson said people could install third-party parts, but that iPhones would continue to use software to alert them when that was done because the company considered it important for customer security. He pointed out a funded study by Apple that showed that most third-party smartphone batteries had failed safety tests and that some had caused fires.

Nathan Proctor, who has lobbied states for reparations legislation on behalf of US PIRG, a nonprofit funded largely by small donors, said the move was a small step in the right direction. It never made technical sense for Apple to place restrictions on installing genuine Apple parts for repairs, he said.

“It was always an absurd and ridiculous practice,” Proctor said.

Starting in January, Oregon law requires Apple and others to start allowing customers to use any parts they want in repairs, even those not approved by the smartphone's original manufacturer. Apple would face a fine of $1,000 a day for not complying with the law starting in 2027.

When the Oregon bill passed, Apple said it would support the repair legislation, but added that “the bill does not provide the consumer protections Oregonians deserve.”


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