Recharge Repair

Released by: Environment Montana

Our new "Recharge Repair" survey finds a surge in consumer demand for phone repair following the revelation Apple was slowing phones with older batteries. “Recharge Repair” identifies the barriers to battery replacement and phone repair that added to long repair delays for consumers. The findings support the need for Right to Repair reforms to grant consumers and third parties access to the parts and tools to repair cell phones and other electronics.

Among the findings were:

  • We surveyed 164 independent repair businesses nationally who reported a 37% increase in weekly battery replacement service requests since Dec. 20

  • Self-repair interest surged as well – traffic from Montana residents to iPhone battery repair instructions went up 148%. 450 people from Montana viewed instructions in between Dec. 20 and Jan. 22

  • eWaste is a growing concern. Montana throws out an estimated 1,200 cell phones per day, our share of the 141 million phones tossed each year.

Eighteen states, but not Montana, have introduced “Right to Repair” or “Fair Repair” laws which guarantee access to the parts and tools needed for repair.

In December, it was discovered that Apple was intentionally slowing down phones with older batteries. They defended this tactic by saying it was intended to reduce performance issues, but had many people wondering if Apple was covertly pushing people to upgrade to a new phone. Regardless of intent, these issues are resolved by replacing the battery – a battery which Apple doesn’t make available to customer or third-party repair businesses.