In the United States, we are increasingly dealing with laws that introduce so-called right to repair. This is about rules that are aimed at eliminating practices that do not allow repair by an independent service. In the state of Washington next year, new regulations will be in force, which prohibit the sale of devices with hard-to-replace batteries. The new regulations are not liked by companies such as Apple or Microsoft.
More than once we had to deal with situations in which a well-known electronics manufacturer made it difficult or impossible to repair their devices through independent services. Of course, the ideal situation would be one in which the user is able to replace the batteries at home without any additional tolls. However, it must also be admitted that the non-replaceable battery used by manufacturers also has its advantages. Many people think that the main argument in this case is water resistance. In fact, the use of a battery hidden in a sealed housing, allows the manufacturer to save space and design a thinner smartphone. A similar situation applies to ultrabooks. What, then, is the whole problem?
Washington officials are fighting a monopoly on post-warranty repair
The whole situation is best illustrated by a fragment of Washington Bill SHB2279:
The new regulations clearly state that producers of electronic devices can not design their devices in such a way that it would be difficult for them to be repaired by an independent service. An example is the latest Microsoft Surface Laptop, which can not be opened without damaging the case. Interestingly, officials specifically addressed the issue of battery replacement. Nobody hid that the new law is directed, among others, against Apple, which sticks batteries used in iPhones, what hinders the exchange process. However, that’s not all. The SHB2279 Bill also raises the issue of diagnostics, what means that manufacturers will not be able to hinder the use of tools to find the cause of the fault. In the same way, independent services will have to be able to purchase repair parts. Similar provisions have already been introduced in 17 states. Producers who oppose the new law use a security argument. Providing detailed technical information could allow cybercriminals to develop tools for stealing data.