Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak has stated that he is a supporter of the right to repair movement. Wozniak discussed his thoughts on the movement in response to a request on Cameo, an app that lets users buy personalized videos from celebrities. The question was posed by right to repair advocate Louis Rossman, who runs the non-profit Repair Preservation Group Action Fund.
In the nine-plus minute video, available on YouTube Wozniak says he keeps up on reports about the issue, but until now has been too busy to get involved.
“I’m always totally supportive and I totally think the people behind it are doing the right thing,” he said of the right to repair movement. “We wouldn’t have had an Apple had I not grown up in a very open technology world, an open electronics world.”
While some would say that modern electronic devices are too complicated for consumers to fix, Wozniak argues that might not be the case in some instances.
“If you know what you’re doing, and you’re doing certain steps that others have solved and found worked pretty well, you could repair a lot of things at low cost,” he says. “So why stop them? Why stop the right to repair people?”
Wozniak loosely compared the issue to one years ago with the Bell Telephone Company and the monopoly it had on the telecommunications industry.
Wozniak noted that the Apple II computer shipped with full schematics, designs, software, and code listings.
Wozniak said that he believes “that companies inhibit it because it gives the companies power, control over everything.”
“And I guess in a lot of people’s minds, power over others equates to money and profits,” he said. “Hey, is it your computer or is it some company’s computer? Think about that. It’s time to start doing the right things.”
Apple has enthusiastically fought right to repair initiatives in the US and other countries, strongly lobbying against bills that would expand consumers’ repair options beyond the usual first-party and Apple-authorized repair spots. The Cupertino firm says in-house repairs ensure that users receive a consistent repair experience and protects consumers from potential harm.
Apple has a big battle ahead of it, as United States President Joe Biden plans to order the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to create new right to repair rules that would affect tech companies like Apple and Microsoft.