So far in 2018 17 states have introduced fair repair legislation as the right-to-repair movement continues to gain momentum.
The latest effort comes from Washington State as bill SHB 2279, which would ban the sale of electronics that are designed “in such a way as to prevent reasonable diagnostic or repair functions by an independent repair provider. Preventing reasonable diagnostic or repair functions includes permanently affixing a battery in a manner that makes it difficult or impossible to remove.”
The bill’s sponsor was influenced by talking to small repair shops and stemmed from the recent controversy over the issue of ‘ performance decreases’, regarding Apple’s decision to “deliberately slow down old iPhones with bad batteries.” These can be fixed by replacing the battery, but Apple’s replacement program has a weeks-long waiting list and the company has fought against third-party repair of its phones at every turn, reports Motherboard. “With Apple phones in particular, they glue the battery in the case, so for me, that sounds like a purposeful attempt to make it so you couldn’t repair the phone.”