@silverwizard I don't understand the legal angle. I'm pretty sure there's a legal argument that you didn't purchase an object, but a service, and as such the provider is free to curtail it as much as they want.
There is and there should be a moral argument with which I agree with, but current US laws are on the side of companies, not consumers. They can and they should change, but until then writing "LEGALLY" in all caps is pointless.
The real problem is that you're accepting the framing that if I buy a cellphone I don't own the hardware, the provider does, and I instead have a service which just happens to have a physical object as part of it.
Which is *not* how *sale* works legally.
And the related problem is that if you accept that framing you accept that it's just fine and normal to rip people off and basically make them dependent on corporations for their lives.
@silverwizard It doesn't matter "how sale works legally" if any corporation can prevent you from repairing the device they provide to you for money without any legal challenge. The law doesn't prevail on its own, and if it isn't enforced as written, it might as well not exist.
And if you don't accept the framing that if you buy a phone you don't own the hardware, you are cutting yourself from a significant portion of the smartphone offer, which is another trade-off to consider.
I'm not sure about your dependency on corporations argument. I can't do everything myself, so I am dependent on corporations to provide me with what I can't do myself. Supposedly with antitrust laws I should be able to choose between multiple options (unless it's a state enforced monopoly like police departments) but it isn't looking good on that front.
I'm not happy about it but it is the reality we are operating within and I don't blame anyone for making the only choice corporations offer. You're talking about ripping people off, but if it is the only available alternative to them because they wouldn't be able to repair their own device themselves anyway for lack of time and knowledge, is it still ripping them off? And if they have to trust another third party for repairs, how much better is it for them?
Don't forget we're sitting on a massive mountain of tech privilege and what feels familiar to us is completely foreign for most people. Most people don't care about "owning the hardware" because they can't do anything with that, they just want to "use a phone", and this is what they are sold, nothing more, nothing less.
I mean, part of that is teaching, learning, and keeping devices cheap. Low income people *need* longer lasting devices, and devices they can repair. This is about partially allowing tech to *not* be privilege.
But the law did previously defend your right to own your thing. The modern moment is a flaunting of the legal tradition and also rewriting the laws to not protect us. So this is important to discuss.
@silverwizard Yes, it is important to discuss, and low income people never pay for the full price of devices anyway, it's paid for by a monthly extra to their phone bill, and they can upgrade every 2 years. It is bad for the environment, but not necessarily for the people themselves. I do not mind having an older device but some people do, and the subscription model is a cheap way to have replacements regularly.
So it is important to legally ensure ownership again to people who want it, but it is illusory to believe everybody wants it or would benefit from it.