Apple products, or repairable products. Take one


Can certain purchases still make sense? CAN they?

Apple products, or repairable products. Take one /img/apple-unrepairable.jpg

A few months ago, Lee Vinsel told a story about an Apple problem that, in my opinion, everybody should know in detail. The mere existence of the problem is not news at all. Any Apple customer that does not notices it by herself has bigger problems to worry about. What too few people still know is how actually big, and bad, the problem is.

Here is an excerpt of Vinsel’s post, hoping that it will prompt you to read the full story, and act accordingly. While researching repairability of Apple products, Vinsel realized that “Something deeper was going on. No, people kept bringing up Apple because Apple was what the regulatory and legal worlds call a┬ábad actor - a company with a known and established pattern of unethical behavior… there is a long list of ways in which Apple is terrible on repairability and Right to Repair”. The main problems, besides very active lobbying to block legislation that would make unrepairable products harder to sell, are:

Apple’s products are less repairable than others

The interior of iPads, for example, includes “gobs of adhesive holding many parts and cables in place, complicating all repairs.” In general, the lack of repairability and recyclability in Apple’s products is a choice. For instance, in some devices, Apple has glued glass to aluminum, making both unrecyclable.

Apple software blocks third party repairpersons

Apple devices run software that allows repairs - such as replacing screens and batteries - only with Apple certified parts, installed only by Apple certified repair people. Software, that is, that enables Apple to charge whatever they want for repair, for no real reason.

Recycling is NEVER as efficient as keeping an object in use

I (Marco) already explained why this is true in general, just one week ago. Vinsel explains well how Apple fights this idea:

“The best thing we can do for the environment is keep devices in play for as long as possible. Yet, Apple has a history of cracking down on third-party refurbishers. Apple requires recyclers working on its products to shred MacBooks, iPhones, and other devices “into tiny shards of metal and glass” rather than follow industry best practice and harvest them for parts that could be used to repair other devices and keep them going.”

In a sense, the real problem here cultural, due to who is making all this, even before of what: “as a powerful cultural and business leader, Apple sends exactly the wrong environmental message to its industry and society at large.”

This, again, is only a very short summary. Please do read everything about giving up Apple in the name of repair.

(This post was drafted in April 2020, but only put online in August, because… my coronavirus reports, of course)

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