The shareholder fight that forced Apple’s hand on repair rights
Source: The Verge
Wednesday morning, Apple announced that the company will soon make parts and repair manuals available to the general public, reversing years of restrictive repair policies. The new policy represents a seismic shift for a company that has fought independent repair for years by restricting access to parts, manuals, and diagnostic tools, designing products that are difficult to fix, and lobbying against laws that would enshrine the right to repair.
But Apple didn’t change its policy out of the goodness of its heart. The announcement follows months of growing pressure from repair activists and regulators — and its timing seems deliberate, considering a shareholder resolution environmental advocates filed with the company in September asking Apple to re-evaluate its stance on independent repair. Wednesday is a key deadline in the fight over the resolution, with advocates poised to bring the issue to the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve.
Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy told The Verge that the program “has been in development for well over a year,” describing it as “the next step in increasing customer access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and manuals.” Leahy declined to say whether the timing of the announcement was influenced by shareholder pressure.