How right to repair will change the future of our cell phones and the technology we use

Cell phone in a repair center.  Photo: Getty Images.

Cell phone in a repair center. Photo: Getty Images. (GuruXOOX via Getty Images)

Technical equipment is becoming increasingly difficult to repair. And for many reasons. The practice known as “parts pairing”, which links different parts to the devices they shipped with by unique serial numbers, is becoming increasingly complex in repairs. For example, the latest MacBook laptops combine the RAM memory, graphics processor, compute processor, and hard drive into a single piece, making it impossible to replace any of these parts without replacing the entire piece.

Furthermore, the high cost of official repair services and the difficulty of accessing them often discourages consumers, who replace the device rather than repair it. We all have suffered from this problem in recent years.

How many times have you wondered if there is some kind of “expiration date” on your devices? The well-known phenomenon known as “planned obsolescence” has been fully accepted by everyone.

New right to repair laws are taking hold in both the United States and Europe. These laws aim to give consumers more power to repair their devices, offering hope for a more sustainable future.

California, Minnesota, and New York have right to repair laws. The bill, which is currently being debated in the European Parliament, could become EU law early next year. All of these can have a significant impact on how technology products are designed, sold, and used. In other words, about technology companies.

Technological waste is a serious problem today.  Photo: Getty Images. Technological waste is a serious problem today.  Photo: Getty Images.

Technological waste is a serious problem today. Photo: Getty Images. (IvanSpasik via Getty Images)

Technology companies respond timidly

Big tech companies are already beginning to respond to these legislative pressures. For example, Apple introduced a USB-C charging port on the iPhone 15 in response to EU regulations requiring common chargers for electronic devices.

In the US, Microsoft’s online store has long made available specific repair kits for the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless controller and the standard model, which is the most common. These kits include keys, covers, and interior components to make DIY repairs easy.

Apple announced its intention to launch a pack in 2021 so anyone can repair their iPhone from home. Samsung has been offering home repair facility for some of its Galaxy series smartphones for a few months now.

These are all good initiatives in a framework that still does not force companies to make more responsible and consumer-oriented decisions. The Right to Repair law would make this attitude a “genetic” tendency of companies. That means a duty,

The new laws will prompt companies to rethink their business models. For example, they may encourage the design of products that are more durable and easier to repair. This, in turn, could reduce the need to produce new devices, helping to reduce environmental impact and costs for consumers.

a new era

If right to repair laws are effectively enforced, we may see a renaissance of local repair shops. If we have a defective product, we can go to a local repair shop, ideally five minutes away, leave it there, have a nice coffee, and get the product back an hour later . This will not only benefit the local economy, but will also reduce the environmental impact of transporting damaged equipment.

Emerging technologies like 3D printing can also play an important role in making repairs more accessible. Let’s imagine a future in which spare parts can be 3D printed directly in the repair shop, reducing costs and wait times.

This could revolutionize the concept of “repairable”, making it more efficient and sustainable. There will be no more “logistical nightmares” like traveling halfway around the world to transport the four pieces of plastic needed to fix a phone.

The right to repair is an issue of social responsibility. A real, modern and urgent problem. New laws and emerging technologies give us the real possibility of a future where appliances are designed to last and repaired rather than replaced. The stability of the planet is at stake… and so is our domestic economy.

More news that may interest you:

On video | Brussels wants to guarantee that Europeans have the right to repair their home appliances

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