The Federal Trade Commission has put companies that use "void if removed" stickers on electronic products on blast, suggesting that preventing users from opening their own products, or forcing them to use first-party products for repairs or services is actually illegal.
The new terms of its warranty legal agreement state that companies can no longer mandate the following:
The use of company parts as a requirement for warranties to remain intact.
A warranty are voided in the case of a third-party resale.
Warranties are null and void if a warranty sticker is damaged or removed.
The FTC has been in contact with several major automotive, electronics and gaming console manufacturers in the U.S. already, warning them that they need to stop using the tamper stickers on their products in the future. Some reporting on this story, like Hexus, have highlighted how Apple is likely to be run into particular trouble with this new legal ruling. Its recent iOS 11.3 update breaks phones which are running third-party screen repairs, which would certainly be in breach of the FTC's ruling. Moving forward, manufacturers will not be allowed to cause their devices to non-function simply because a working third party repair has been completed.
Although they will not be required to work with third-party hardware, they will not be allowed to make a product work less effectively deliberately to curb it.
Image source: EdmundTse/Flickr