Apple (AAPL) Co-founder Steve Wozniak, known to the tech world by his nickname, spoke about the matter during a recent appearance on Cameo, a website that allows fans to pay celebrities for video messages.
In an article to Louis Rossmann, YouTube personality and advocate for the right to repair, Wozniak said he “fully” supports the cause – which gives consumers the right and the information to repair their own devices – and somewhat “emotionally” affected by it.
“I do a lot of cameos, but this one really touched me,” he said in the nine-minute video. “We wouldn’t have had an Apple if I hadn’t grown up in a very open technological world.”
The right to repair the movement has gained ground in recent times. In the UK, new measures have been introduced to require manufacturers of televisions, washing machines and refrigerators to provide spare parts to consumers.
In the United States, at least 27 states have deliberated this year on legislation related to the subject, according to US PIRG, a coalition of state-based public interest research groups.
The White House also intervened, with press secretary Jen Psaki this week noting that the US Department of Agriculture is considering giving “farmers the right to repair their own equipment.”
Wozniak, for his part, explained how he learned to build and modify his own devices from an early age, especially with an amateur radio license at age 10.
“Back in the day, when you were buying electronics like televisions and radios, every part of the circuits and designs was included on paper. Completely open source, ”he said.
“If you know what you’re doing… you could fix a lot of things at low cost. But it’s even more valuable to know you did it yourself.”
Wozniak, who co-founded Apple 45 years ago with Steve Jobs, said allowing others to retrofit their devices also has business value. He pointed to the success of the Apple II computer, which he said was “fully changeable and expandable” and the “only source” of profit for Apple in its early years.
“It was not … a success by pure luck,” he added. “There was a lot of good things about being so open that anyone could join in on the fun.”
Wozniak’s comments come as Apple – the company he left as an active employee in 1985 – has long been criticized for policies that restrict where its customers can have their iPhones serviced. and other electronic devices without compromising their warranties.
Previously, the company only allowed its authorized service providers to receive genuine Apple parts and other materials needed to perform repairs. That changed in 2019, when the company increased the number of officially recognized repair companies.
But “I think that companies [still] inhibit it because it gives companies power, control over everything, ”Wozniak said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“It’s time to start doing the right things,” Wozniak said in his post. “It is time to recognize the right to make more complete repairs.”
– Haley Burton contributed to this report.
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