May 12, 2018
Apple is an incredibly terrible company (even if their products are decent) who are spearheading the push to make it impossible for a consumer to repair their own products.
They are going so far as to have ICE confiscate refurbished parts at the border and claiming they are counterfeit.
To explain why this is ridiculous, let’s say you had a Volkswagen car. You hit a deer or something and your windshield is now completely unusable, so you replace it with a windshield from Toyota. Did you just counterfeit a Volkswagen windshield? The entire car? Are you counterfeiting Toyota cars by using their windshield on another brand?
The answer is obviously no, you refurbished your product with parts from another party. This has always been something which was legal because there is no reason someone should be unable to repair their own legally owned property with whatever parts they want.
What Apple is doing here is claiming that broken screens which have the glass replaced by a third party while every other part of the phone and screen is still an Apple product is somehow stealing their intellectual property.
If this behavior from Apple isn’t stopped, other companies will take notice and start doing the same thing. The consumers right to repair any product will be gone, and we might see more people going to jail for doing completely legal things but being unable to explain to their grandparents how technology works.
I’d like to add a disclaimer here that I don’t have a problem with the idea ICE seizing foreign imports of refurbished goods so long as it is for the sole purpose of making third-party repair companies do business with American sellers. That isn’t what’s happening here though.