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Should India too comply with the French law of iPhone and MacBook repairability scores? 

Apple iPhone MacBook
Apple Products

Apple has added iPhone and MacBook repairability scores to its online store in France to comply with a new French law that came into effect this year. The new law is designed to reduce waste. 

The repairability scores are required by a new French law which came into effect on January 1st with new anti-waste legislation. A website cataloging scores across different manufacturers notes that last year only 40 percent of France’s electrical devices were repaired after they broke down. The government aims to increase this to 60 percent within five years by using the scores to educate consumers and pressure manufacturers to make improvements. 

While France’s new law is still in its early stages, it won’t be until 2022 that companies will begin facing fines for failing to comply. But there are already hopes that the initiative which currently covers smartphones, laptops, TVs, washing machines and lawnmowers  might be expanded to more product categories in the future. And with the European Parliament voting in favour of right to repair rules last year, there are hopes similar initiatives might be rolled out across the continent.

So how does this connect with India? It’s just as simple . Globally, Apple is renowned for top-notch customer service, but in India it is another story.  Customers often have to face issues with their iPhones, tabs and Mac books and there’s no proper repairability function available in the country. 

Apple does not operate any stores in India, where government regulations stipulate that foreign retailers must get at least 30% of their manufacturing materials from vendors in the country. Customers in India say that few outlets that do repairing work often provide terrible service, can take weeks to complete minor repairs, and set their own policies when devices are out of warranty. It’s a far cry from the experience they expected when they chose Apple.

The ratings for Apple’s products vary between products and generations. Its iPhone 12 lineup all have scores of six out of 10 for example, while the previous year’s iPhone 11s are rated lower at between 4.5 and 4.6. The improvement, according to the detailed scoring assessment, is due to the newer iPhones being easier to dismantle than the previous year’s models, and spare parts being cheaper compared to the cost of the phone itself. There’s less of a spread between the company’s different MacBook models, whose scores range from 5.6 to 7.

Apple currently makes most of its products in China. In India, the company assembles some lower-end iPhone models, but is still exploring building higher-end models in the country. The possible migration of sourcing to India, and the subsequent arrival of Apple stores in the country or following a repairability score rise may help the company get past critical issues with customer satisfaction reported at third-party service centres. 

 

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