Apple is fighting the ‘right to repair’ legislation that allows consumers to crack open their devices and repair them with OEM parts. Motherboard reports that Nebraska will have a hearing next month with Apple formally opposing the bill.
According to the source, an Apple representative, staffer, or lobbyist will testify against the bill at a hearing in Lincoln on March 9. AT&T will also argue against the bill, the source said. The source told me that at least one of the companies plans to say that consumers who repair their own phones could cause lithium batteries to catch fire …
It’s unknown what arguments Apple will be using, whether it’s safety concerns or the complexity of their devices in recent years.
Nebraska is reportedly one of the eight states in the U.S. that are considering passing this bill. However, Apple has successfully lobbied against this bill in New York in the past.
Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of Repair.org, says that safety concerns is something that lobbyists have used in the past and that she plans on poking fun at the idea during the hearing.
Last year, industry lobbyists told lawmakers in Minnesota that broken glass could cut the fingers of consumers who try to repair their screens, according to Gordon-Byrne. Byrne said she will also testify at the Nebraska hearing and “plans to bring band aids.”
Repair.org believes that if one state is able to pass the bill, manufacturers will just give in to the idea, citing similar outcomes in the car industry years ago.
In 2012, a Massachusetts law guaranteeing the right to repair automobiles became de-facto national legislation after car manufacturers decided to comply with the law nationwide rather than continue to fight burgeoning legislation in other states.