Thanks to new economic regulations in France, it’s now easier to judge the reparability of Apple’s products anywhere in the world.
Starting in 2022, France will require all companies to provide reparability scores on a wide variety of electronics, appliances, and other products sold in the country. The French government hopes to boost product repairs from 40% to 60% over the next five years, part of an effort to encourage people to purchase repairable products and thereby reduce waste and keep products in use for longer.
In accordance with the new requirements, Apple is already providing scores for many of its currently-available products, including all iPhones from the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 12 series, and several MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models. Products are scored on a ten-point scale, and each is listed at the bottom of a device’s Apple Store page (at least on the French language website). The higher a score is, the more easily it can be repaired.
Full reports for all reviewed devices are also available on Apple’s French support page. The reports are entirely in French, and only available as PDFs — meaning you can’t run them through Google Translate to see what they actually say if you don’t speak French. Luckily, the numeric reparability scores are listed in the green boxes at the bottom of the table:
Note that the scores are calculated by Apple, not an outside third-party. While Apple is open about its calculation methods, companies can boost a product’s score through seemingly-unrelated means, like explaining how iOS updates are installed.
Still, reparability scores can help you more accurately judge a product’s value. While the smartphone industry is built around annual iterations, many users don’t buy a new phone every year — and if they do, they may choose an older device that is more affordable.
However, buying a more expensive iPhone 12 — which scores a 6 in reparability — may be a better investment than buying a cheaper iPhone 11 — which only scores a 4.5. An iPhone 12 is more expensive, but it could also be easier to fix, and thus ultimately last longer. That could save customers money in the long run, and keep the device out of a landfill.