Apple AirPods Promotes Reform Rights Act
Apple AirPods Promotes Reform Rights Act

When Apple first released AirPods in 2016, it was a miracle. To get rid of cables and switch to wireless connections, Apple has built several chips, microphones, and speakers into each headset, weighing about 4 grams.

Without a cable, the headset is powered by a small cylindrical battery that makes up about 1% of the iPhone's battery capacity.

But lithium-ion batteries, like the ones used in AirPods, wear out more the more they are used.

Some car owners have found that after a few years, their AirPods still work for about an hour before they need to be recharged. This is a significant reduction in battery life, with new battery life ranging from four to five hours.

Because AirPods are so small and well packed in their case, it's almost impossible to replace old batteries with new ones. Most people give up and buy new headphones.

The limited life of AirPods is the problem that the right to repair aims to solve.

Workshops and lobbyists hope that the legislature will implement different rules. This includes improved access to manuals and official parts as well as consumer protection around warranty.

However, one of their main requirements is for the company to take maintenance into account when developing products, rather than adding unmarked parts and gluing them together with rubber glue, forcing the user to break them up with a knife.

That desire is at odds with reform advocates and computer companies like Apple, whose business model relies on upgrading customers to the latest models every few years.

When Apple offered cheap iPhone battery repair services a few years ago, it hurt sales as consumers could keep their old phones longer instead of upgrading them.

Apple also bills its customers for warranty repairs and extensions.

"We develop our products to be durable and low in maintenance," Apple wrote in an environmental report earlier this year. But in case repair is needed. We believe that our customers should be able to easily obtain safe and reliable maintenance services.

Repair rights are getting stronger with AirPods

In May, the Federal Trade Commission released a 56-page report on repair restrictions and concluded that repair restrictions require consumers to repair a manufacturer's network or replace a product before its useful life ends.

As part of the general executive order, the Biden administration directed the FTC to draft new regulations intended to limit manufacturers' ability to impede their independence or independence.

The White House wrote on the executive order: Technology companies restrict internal and external repairs, which make repairs more expensive and time-consuming, such as: b- Restricting the distribution of parts, diagnostics and repair tools.

Maintenance advocates want companies to provide official parts and tools to facilitate repairs without having to reverse engineer the tools or the parts themselves. In addition to developing products with a longer life.

Apple has launched a program called the Independent Repair Program that enables repair shops to go through the Apple certification and contracting process to obtain genuine Apple parts, tools, and manuals.

Apple has also lowered the iPhone battery replacement price, and the updated model design makes it easier to replace the battery or screen.

In addition, Apple has a wider network of authorized stores and repair shops compared to other consumer electronics companies.

However, many Apple products are still difficult to repair at home or at work without an Apple connection.

The only company that replaced the AirPods battery

iFixit is a company that provides disassembly instructions and sells hardware parts. They rated the repairability of the AirPods model with 0 points (out of 10).

 Apple provides battery service for AirPods at a cost of $49 per earbud. But functionally, the company gives you a replacement pair, and the old earbuds are recycled.

This is not a repair but a replacement, and it is an expensive process. AirPods cost about $159, so opting for battery service costs more than half the price of new headphones.

Apple sold about 72.8 million AirPods units in 2020. Therefore, tens of millions of consumers face the same situation in the coming years.

PodSwap aims to keep the AirPods, which are not affiliated with Apple.

PodSwap believes it is the only company that replaces AirPod batteries, although there are other companies that are refurbishing old earphones.

PodSwap faces several challenges that explain why reform advocates want new rules. The design of the speakers makes it difficult for repair shops or companies to perform many battery replacements.

The PodSwap process uses robots and manual labor, and the process was developed through trial and error. A large number of units were sacrificed and recycled.

One of the main challenges PodSwap faced was overcoming the uniqueness of this product. Each headset is assembled with slight variations, which creates a complexity in disassembly.

Previous Post Next Post