California to introduce ‘Right to Repair’ bill for electronic devices

when will we have unbreakable smartphone glass gorilla close up of broken phone

California will soon become the 18th state to introduce a “Right to Repair” bill that would give Californians more options in repairing or replacing electronic items.

Introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman of Stockton, the bill would make diagnostics, replacement parts, and repair instruction available to both consumers and independent shops, so owners of electronic devices are not forced to submit to sometimes costly manufacturer repairs.

The bill focuses heavily on the impact that right to repair would have, not only on California’s own employment, but on general sustainability as well. “People who can’t afford the high price of manufacturer-based repair services are increasingly forced to prematurely replace durable goods, such as phones, TVs, and appliances,” says the statement on Eggman’s website. “Repairing and reusing electronics is not only a more efficient use of the scarce materials that go into manufacturing the products, but it can also stimulate local economies instead of unsustainable overseas factories.”

The bill has been welcomed by consumer advocacy group Consumers Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but it’s likely that the bill will face significant opposition from tech giants that have previously fought against similar laws on the grounds of user safety and protecting intellectual property. Similar bills have previously been heavily stalled by such efforts, so it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing this bill passed quickly.

The wider issue of planned obsolescence in mobile technology was recently pushed to fore after it emerged that Apple was purposefully slowing down older devices. After a large pushback from Apple users and lawmakers alike, Apple introduced options that allowed users to turn the option off, and offered free battery replacements to affected models.

While the spectre of “planned obsolescence” still hangs over the tech industry like a sickly miasma, a move towards “Right to Repair” across the U.S. would allow for third-party repair shops to perform repairs that could extend device lifespans, cutting down on the need to upgrade early and saving the precious elements inside such devices from waste.

If you’re looking for tips on how to put your older devices to good use, we have a guide of some of the best ways you can reuse smartphones and tablets, and how to recycle old computer parts.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

In 2018, the rivalry between AMD and Intel has become more interesting than ever

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.
Computing

Consider an extended warranty plan if you buy a Surface Pro 6

Though Microsoft offers a standard one-year warranty on the Surface Pro 6, consumers may want to purchase an extended warranty plan if they intend on keeping their tablet longer due to the device's low repairability score.
Home Theater

MicroLED vs. OLED: Two hot TV technologies battle for your dollars

Samsung claims its new MicroLED TV tech offers all the benefits of OLED without the drawbacks. Join Digital Trends to take a close look to see if MicroLED TV lives up to the hype, and where it could go in the future.
Mobile

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.
Photography

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…
Mobile

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.
Mobile

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.
Mobile

Sprint now lets you add Hulu's Live TV service to your unlimited plan

Sprint recently introduced three new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic , Unlimited Plus, and Unlimited Premium. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.
Mobile

Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.
Mobile

It’s about time! A USB-C magnetic charger for the Apple Watch has finally arrived

While most of the buzz surrounding Apple has been about the iPhone XR, the company also introduced a new Apple Watch accessory. Starting October 24, a USB-C magnetic charger will be available for purchase.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Product Review

Amazon’s child-friendly tablet is the complete package

Kids are tough on electronics and it’s difficult to police screen time and manage what they’re doing. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition could be the affordable answer to your prayers, with a rugged case and worry-free warranty.