Henrik Mjelva (23 years old) has been running iFik’s Express in Bodø for three years.
Every day, customers come in who want to repair damaged iPhones and iPads.
But even if Mjelva can continue the company, not everything is easy.
– It becomes more difficult. The manufacturers don’t seem to want to fix the phones. Mjelva says they only want to sell new products and adds:
– I feel in many ways that I am running at wasted time.
The European Union is now working on new solutions guiding rules for product design in Europe.
To force manufacturers to make products that are easy to repair.
Puts barriers in products
But why is an iPhone so hard to repair for example?
– Barriers are placed that make everything more difficult. If you change parts on everything from iPhone 8 and up, you might lose, say, FaceID, explains Mjelva.
How often do you buy a new phone?
The problem is that it is not an authorized Apple repairer. Uses parts identical to original, but not verified.
If he inserts a new screen, for example, the phone will tell you that the screen is not “original”.
It is normal for customers to become skeptical. And I should make that clear before I turn, says Mjelva and adds:
I lose many customers because I warn them beforehand.
Should be forced to change
It’s not just iPhones that are difficult to repair or not profitable. Earlier this summer, NRK reported how a The company that fixed the white goods had to close their doors.
They simply couldn’t make it work financially – and customers almost saved money on buying new items.
Against this background, a movement has emerged in recent years “Right to Repair”. More than 40 organizations in 16 countries stand together for the right to reform.
Now it has also been announced that the European Commission will present a new proposal during the third quarter of 2022 that will force manufacturers to facilitate product overhaul.
EU expert Pal Frisfold tells NRK that such regulation is necessary if there is hope for improvement circular economy in Norway.
Individual countries in the European Union alone will not be able to force the big electronics giants to change their behaviour. This is why this is so important, he says and adds:
– Such a measure will force producers to make changes.
important for the environment
There are already examples of major manufacturers forced to change, such as ordering all mobile phone chargers USB-C by fall 2024.
– Why is it important to have new regulations on this issue of reform?
If we are to win the battle for the environment and climate, it cannot continue as it is now. Frisfold says 80 percent of climate and gas emissions are related to how our products are designed, and adds:
The upper part of the value chain has not been properly addressed before. The EU’s circular economy strategy said you have to do exactly that.
Could do more in Norway
In addition to his work for Sintef, Frisfold is Vice President of Frogner MDG. The deputy leader of the entire party supports him:
Here, the European Union can make a very big difference to consumers around the world. It’s very difficult for individual countries – and we are fully dependent on the EU’s challenge for this, says Arild Hermstad from the Millennium Development Goals to NRK.
However, he points out that more products that are better designed are needed.
Norway can do so much more. Among other things, we can eliminate VAT on repairs, train repair workers, and define requirements for Norwegian companies in relation to salvageable products and product life requirements.
Every country can do so much more, and Norway does so little.
For Mjelva at iFik’s express, the changes may mean he doesn’t have to tell customers that the product can send warnings after a repair.
– I think it’s very good that things are done so that we can fix more. I like to fix my own stuff, and buying new all the time is expensive.
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