Right To Repair: Be Careful What You Wish For?

Today Apple announced that they will be offering Self Serve Repair starting in the US early 2022 and rolling it out in other territories the following months.

Speaking of the announcement, Apple COO Jeff Williams said:

“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

This change in tact is clearly not something Apple wanted to do, but rather something they've done begrudgingly before they're compelled to by a court. I'm not going to go into the details of the announcement here, there are plenty of real blogs for that, but I did find quite interesting.

The thing I'm left with when seeing this news, and the news of the previous ruling around Apple (and Google) having to offer options for Developers to offer alternative payment methods, is 'who would actually use this?'

I do understand and appreciate why this is happening, why so many people are seemingly pushing for it, and why companies are being forced to do it, so my viewpoint to follow is just me being a bit facetious, but I do genuinely think after all the efforts to insist upon it and enforce it things like this will be utilised by so few people.

On the alternative payment method front, I for one would much rather give my card details to Apple / Google than be pushed out of the respective App Stores onto a site owned by God knows who so I can enter all my card details that old Bilbo in Randomcountryshire will clone it to kingdom come. I can understand why a developer would want this option, but why would a user?

Just the idea of self service repairs on my £1,700 iPhone or iPad gives me the sweats. According to the announcement post, individuals will be able to review the Repair Manual (their capitalisations not mine, so you know it's serious business) and then place an order for some genuine parts and tools to get self serving. I've ordered a kit from iFixIt in the past, to try and change a battery in an old device and, let me tell you, that went about as smoothly as trying to castrate a rabid Pitbull on heat with a spoon and no anesthetic. Reading through a Repair Manual, paying out the, no doubt, high prices for official parts and trying to crack open my device for a repair really is brown trouser time for me.

As I said before I'm being facetious here and the post does clearly state this program is for:

... individual technicians with the knowledge and experience to repair electronic devices

It's not really made for Geoffrey at home in his bedroom to play around with. You know, as well as I, that's exactly what's going to happen, however. There'll be an influx of morons like me thinking that because they've seen a couple of iFixit videos they're the second coming of Steve Jobs. I just wonder how many iPhones need to explode before Apple shrug, tell everyone they told you so, and revoke the program?

The cynical side of me looks at this preemptive measure and I think: be careful what you wish for.