Repairability scores for iPhones and MacBooks in France

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Apple has added iPhone and MacBook repairability scores to its online store in France. The company, which had to comply with a new French law that came into force this year, has taken such a step.

According to MacGeneration’s report, the scoring takes into account how easy a device can be disassembled, and the availability of repair guides and spare parts. The total score for each product is detailed on this support page, with details showing how the calculation was made.

Scores for Apple’s products vary between products and generations. For example, the entire iPhone 12 series scores six out of 10. Previous years’ iPhone 11 models are scored lower with 4.5 and 4.6. Looking at the detailed scoring process, the newer iPhones are easier to disassemble than the previous year’s models and the spare parts are cheaper than the cost of the phone, helping them to score higher. In different MacBook models, the variation of the scores remains lower. Their scores range between 5.6 and 7.

Repairability scores are made mandatory by a new French law that came into effect on January 1 with the new waste prevention law. A website that catalogs scores for products from different manufacturers states that only 40 percent of electrical appliances in France last year were repaired after failure. The government aims to increase this to 60 percent within five years, using the points to educate consumers and pressure producers to make improvements.

However, this system is not perfect. Radio France Internationale states that manufacturers calculate their own scores (albeit according to strict rules) and that they can earn easy points with simple measures such as providing more information about software updates.

At least one manufacturer made a change in response to the law. According to Le Monde’s report, Samsung has provided an online repair guide for the Galaxy S21 Plus to increase its repairability score compared to the previous year’s model. The EU has used a similar initiative to promote energy efficiency in the past. In that initiative, labels provided simple information about the energy consumption of household products.

France’s new law is still in its early stages, and companies will not begin to face penalties for noncompliance until 2022. However, there are now hopes that the initiative, which covers smartphones, laptops, TVs, washing machines and lawnmowers, could expand to more product categories in the future. And there are hopes that similar initiatives could be implemented across the continent, with the European Parliament voting in favor of the right to repair in law last year.

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