Under the UK right to repair law manufacturers will be required to make spare parts available for their commercial products. The law will help tackle the problem of e-waste which includes fridges, washing machines, and TVs. The law was implemented on July 2, though the omission of smartphones and laptops is a bit bizarre.
E-Waste Management and Planned Obsolescence
Earlier last year the European Union set a bloc-wide right to repair law. While the New York Senate passed the Digital Fair Repair Act last month in a move to manage e-waste and the problem of planned obsolescence.
The new laws make it obligatory for manufacturers to build appliances that consumers will be able to repair as they break down after a certain time. The manufacturers will have to provide spare parts for their commercial appliances and in the process reduce e-waste.
Earlier last year Apple was slammed with a fine of $27 million by France for spamming old iPhones with updates, resulting in substantially making the older models obsolete.
It is strange how UK and EU right to repair laws have excluded smartphones and laptops from the list. It is a fact Apple and other smartphone providers are the highest-profile known enactors of planned obsolescence.
New York Digital Fair Repair Act
On the other hand, the New York Digital Fair Repair Act is the only one to include smartphones and laptops. According to Senator Phil Boyle, “people can repair their own computers, laptops, and smartphones… We don’t have to send them back to the manufacturers.”
UK Right to Repair Law Excludes Smartphones and Laptops
Large corporations such as Apple, Samsung, and many more might be the driving force behind the exclusion of smartphones and Laptops from the right to repair law.
There have been reports of companies such as Apple, Hewlett Packard, and other large tech firms opposing the right to repair bills.
Earlier in March the EU did make an effort to rectify the problem by expanding its right to repair act to cover laptops and smartphones.
While France is already in action, manufacturers will have to mention “repairability scores,” showing how easy it is to repair any of their devices. We can experience similar amendments rolling in for the entire European Union. It may take a little longer for it to reach the UK as it may no longer be part of the EU, though the UK will follow suit.