At the start of the year, the French government began requiring makers of smartphones and laptops to assign their products a “repairability” score based on how easy they are to fix — a first-of-its-kind governmental requirement with potentially global implications. Now, leading consumer technology brands including Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft have started to comply with the law by grading their products in French. And you don’t have to be a Francophone to see that the grades are, well, pretty lackluster.
Apple, the world’s most valuable consumer tech company, was unable to give any of its iPhones or MacBooks a repair score higher than 7 out of 10, making it a C student at best by the company’s own math. Competitor Microsoft, meanwhile, failed to crack 5 out of 10 for any of the products it scored, a list that includes the dual-screen Surface Duo and several Surface laptops. Samsung, the No. 1 smartphone seller in France and globally last year, also gave many of its phones failing marks. But it scored better on several devices for which it has recently made repair documentation available, highlighting companies’ ability to make their products easier to fix if they cho... Read more