As told by a source inside the Nebraska legislature to Motherboard, Apple (as well as major US wireless carrier AT&T) are looking to send representatives or lobbyists to a hearing scheduled on March 9th, during which the “Right to Repair” bill will be deliberated upon. Both Apple and AT&T are planning to argue that this bill could lead to consumers not only causing potential damage to their electronic devices, but also harm to themselves when performing repairs on their own. The companies also plan to cite the case of exploding Li-ion batteries, as well as overheating issues such as those recently experienced by Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phablet.
To date, the “Right to Repair” bill is currently being proposed in at least eight states (including Nebraska), and for some time now has been an intensely debated subject. For years, consumers and repair shops have been claiming that tech firms have been monopolizing repair services with the way they make it harder for users and third parties to gain access not only to components, but to repair manuals as well. For instance, Apple has been known to design proprietary screws and even introduced software components checks in order to prevent repair shops (and even the consumers themselves) from tinkering with its devices.
The “Right to Repair” legislation is backed by the Repair.org trade organization, who is hoping that electronic device makers will not want to deal with varying laws, depending on which state in America, and therefore will be more receptive to the idea of a uniform countrywide policy, akin to that of the US automobile industry’s.