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National Wireless Independent Dealer Association

Apple Changes Policy to Enable (most) Third-Party Parts

Apple LOGOOur friends at iFixIt (link below) tell us that “Apple just announced that they’re caving on a key parts pairing problem: They’ve promised to stop artificially hamstringing the performance of third-party parts. Mostly.”

For the past eight years, iPhones with third-party or secondhand batteries couldn’t display battery health metrics. Similarly, replacing a broken screen with a used or third-party one would disable the True Tone feature.

Apple has announced that battery health and True Tone functionality will be enabled for third-party batteries and screens, provided the parts are compatible. Moreover, customers will no longer need a device’s serial number to purchase parts from the Self Service Repair marketplace. Additionally, repair shops can now stock original Apple parts without adhering to the restrictive terms of an IRP contract, though they will still need to return old parts to receive favorable pricing.

Recent R2R laws passed in Oregon, Colorado, and the EU are pushing Apple to go further.

NWIDA has been fighting hard with our advocacy partners in the US to pass laws that limit parts pairing practices that harm independent repair shops. This year, 2 new states passed laws. 

Oregon’s new law states that a “manufacturer may not use parts pairing to prevent or inhibit an independent repair provider or an owner from installing or enabling the function of an otherwise functional replacement part.” Colorado’s law contains nearly identical language. Disabling features like True Tone and battery health metrics clearly falls under this definition.

Colorado’s parts pairing provision takes effect in 2026, and Oregon’s in 2027, but both are retroactive to devices made in 2021 and later. We knew Apple’s engineers would need to find a way to fully enable third-party parts.

Apple’s report indicates these changes will be implemented “later in 2024.” 

Apple stated, “We’re committed to designing all products with serviceable batteries.” This commitment is welcome news. We appreciated their redesign of the iPhone to make it openable from both the front and back. While battery replacement could still be easier, this is a positive step.

iFixit story link

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