Can You Repair An iPhone? Apple Says Yes, But To Varying Degrees
Apple along with other electronics manufacturers — has started displaying ‘repairability scores’ for some of its devices in France. The scores show potential buyers how easy it is for a device to be fixed should the need arise before they buy it. The new labeling is now required due to a law that came into effect at the start of the year.
The ‘repairability index’ is intended to help fight electronics waste by steering consumers away from particularly finite devices and to ultimately shift society towards a more circular economy by helping to promote devices that are more repairable. It initially applies to front-loading washing machines, smartphones, laptops, TV monitors, and electric lawnmowers.
Devices are given a score out of 10 based on the five criteria of documentation, disassembly and access, availability of spare parts, price of spare parts, and factors specific to the device in question. By 2024, the law, which is said to be a global first and that the EU is considering a version of, is intended to become a ‘sustainability index’ that will include additional criteria, such as the robustness or reliability of products.
Based on the information provided by France’s Ministry of Ecological Transition, many companies have now begun calculating and displaying the repairability scores of their devices, although fines for not displaying scores won’t begin being issued until next year. As MacGeneration reports, though, Apple is one of the companies to have now begun doing so and Apple itself has also made available a full list of the score breakdowns for each of the iPhone and Mac devices rated.
Apple IPhone & Mac Repairability Scores
The 0-10 scale is split into five categories each covering intervals of 1.9 (or 2 at the top of the scale), with red being the worst (0-1.9), followed by orange, yellow in the middle, light green second-to-top, and dark green at the top (8-10). All of Apple’s rated iPhones and Macs fall into the middle (yellow) and second-to-top (light green) categories.
Its top-rated iPhone is the iPhone 7 with a score of 6.7, followed by the iPhone 8, 8+, and 7+ with a score of 6.6. Its most recent models, the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max scored 6, while their predecessors scored a significantly worse 4.6, 4.6, and 4.5, respectively. Apple’s Macs scored better on average than its iPhones.
The scores show that Apple’s devices are generally middling in their repairability — or at least as per the French scale — but it is encouraging to see the most recent iPhones score better than some of the others. It will be interesting to see what attempts Apple and others make to improve their score in the future.