In November, the European Parliament passed the Right to Repair Act, which requires some electronic products to be labeled with a repairability index of 10, in an effort to reduce electronic waste. Last month, France became the first country in the EU to apply these recoverability indexes to electronics, including smartphones and laptops, and now Apple’s French site officially supports the labels for iPhones and MacBooks.
The actual recoverability score will not appear until you submit your iPhone or MacBook. All iPhone Phones from the 12 series get a score of 6/10, while the older ones iPhone 11 gets a much lower 4.6 / 10 score. The iPhone SE (2020) is actually the most repair-friendly new iPhone you can buy direct from Apple with a score of 6.2 / 10.
The actual scoring system has its flaws as each manufacturer has to calculate their scores, and some categories, such as providing information for software updates and technical support, skews the overall result in favor of the manufacturer. The predefined categories for the scorecard include documentation on reparability, ease of disassembly, spare parts availability and price. Newer iPhones tend to score higher because they are easier to disassemble and because they have more and more affordable spare parts.
While the new recoverability indexes are required by law, they only apply to a select group of electronics, including smartphones, laptops, TVs, washing machines and lawn mowers. Although manufacturers are required to provide an index score, they won’t be fined for products with a bad repair index until 2022.
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