Rumor has it that Apple is preparing to loosen up the supply chain of OEM screens to the repair industry…wait for it…this month.

*head tilt*

This sounds a bit shocking, especially considering the (very) long and embattled history between Apple and the repair industry with regard to the Right to Repair issue. Not only has the giant been an outspoken opponent to the R2R legislation, but it has also made it very difficult for independent shops to satisfy the repair needs of the consumer through the use of lawsuits and aggressive lobbying.

If the rumors are true, all that could be a thing of the past. I think I just stuttered in my head… Apple seems to be making moves that will provide access to their supply chain to some of the biggest names in the repair space. Recently, Apple has taken a shy step towards a more friendly approach towards the repair industry by finally starting to accept repairs of iPhones with third-party batteries. But that does not even come close to what is possibly about to come so, logically, we have a few questions:

Why now? What does this mean to small, independent shops? Will this really be a step forward?

Here’s what we know:

  • With Allstate acquiring iCracked, the Right to Repair has gained a new truly powerful and influential ally.
  • As far as independent shops, the short answer is: nothing changes. For now. However, nothing is ever black and white in this industry, and there’s no telling what will happen if/when Apple gives our industry access to the supply chain.
  • As far as the right to repair goes, this could be a YUGE a win. Or maybe not. As has very well pointed out, maybe corporations have been co-opting the Right to Repair movement, meaning they have been taking half-steps towards the movement’s demands, but they still maintain full control over the supply chain and who can have access to it. Although we agree that every step forward counts, we can’t forget the real goal: to be able to decide what and who can fix our own electronics, on our own terms. This might just be another way of Apple to keep us under their control and demands.

As of now, all eyes are focused on Apple’s announcements during their special event on March 25th at Apple Park in Cupertino, California that starts at around 10 am (PDT). We are still unsure of the exact time of the big announcement, but our intel suggests it will happen during the “services based” keynote on Monday.

What are your thoughts? What are some of the impacts you believe this will have on the industry’s future overall? Who do you think these big brands will be? Comment down below!


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