Technological advancement has seen more users of laptops, iPhones, and mobile phones. The devices enhance communication, education purpose, and commerce. Although the devices increase the quality of people’s lives, an increase in their use increases the toxic electronic waste, aggravating the impacts of climate change. Most people use mobile and iPhones for an average of one to two years before disposing of them. The device manufacturers have continued to design products that are difficult to repair and restrict the sales of accessories that technicians can use for repair.
The European Union and the UK have proposed legislation on the right to repair to make companies aid in the repair of products they offer to consumers. By providing crucial parts, technicians can repair laptops and other electronics to increase their usable life. The lack of accessories makes consumers dispose of the product even when minor repairs are needed to restore the device into its working condition. Increased disposal of electronic waster negatively impact on sustainability effort as the devices emits greenhouse gases. Apple and Microsoft have continuously opposed the legislation citing the following reasons.
Protection of Intellectual Property
Apple and Microsoft claim that allowing other people to repair their devices would mean giving them access to the information, tools, and software. By offering this information to third parties, the companies would lose their intellectual property.
Claim New devices are better
The companies engage in research meant to improve the quality of new devices. When Apple and Microsoft develop new products, the companies engage in marketing and understand that it is easier to sell to the old clients than new ones. Therefore, Apple and Microsoft intentionally refuse to offer some accessories to avoid repairing laptops and iPhones to stimulate purchases when customers’ laptops fail to function.
Microsoft and Apple provide warranties to the product they offer their customers. The companies are opposed to repair as the technicians could interfere with the normal working or cause more destruction. Therefore, interfering with the device from the form provided by the manufacturer would cause the warranty to be invalid.
The government should enact the right to repair legislation to enables consumers to avoid losses. The device manufacturer should identify and train their technician to provide repair services. When the manufacturer prepares their technician to offer repair services, they will address IP theft and warranty concerns as technicians have the requisite expertise. Enacting the legislation will help alleviate e-waste and improve sustainability efforts by enhancing the recycling of laptops and other electronic products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.