Google partners with Samsung on self-repair program with iFixit

Google has become the latest manufacturer to partner with DIY repair specialists iFixit to offer spare parts for its devices, the search giant announced today. It’s a deal that should make it much easier for the average customer to get parts to fix their own Pixel smartphone if it breaks. Parts such as batteries, screens and cameras will be available for sale in the US, Canada, Australia, UK and other European countries where the phones are sold. Parts can be purchased “later this year,” Google says.

There will be spare parts available for an impressive number of Pixel phones, including the latest Pixel 6 devices and all the way back to 2017’s Pixel 2. That means there should be parts available for the kind of outdated phones people might want to fix this year. . † By contrast, Samsung’s equivalent partnership with iFixit at launch will only cover select devices dating back to the 2020 Galaxy S20 (though it says it plans to expand the program over time).

Simple fixes are essential if Google wants customers to continue using its devices as long as Google plans to support them with software. Starting with the Pixel 6, Google promises three years of Android updates and five years of security updates, allowing the phones to be used until the end of 2026. At that point, it’s almost certain that a phone will need a battery replacement or some sort of repair that will be done at least once during its life, making easy access to spare parts essential.

Pixel spare parts are sold individually as well as in “Fix Kits”, which come with tools to make the repairs. If you’d rather not do the repairs yourself, Google already has partnerships with a number of professional repair shops. Trade-in and recycling programs are also available when you no longer wish to continue using a device.

The consumer technology industry as a whole has become more serious about self-repair in recent years. In addition to Samsung and Google, Microsoft and Valve are also partnering with iFixit to offer spare parts for their Surface devices and Steam Deck, respectively. Even Apple, which has made it difficult for customers to repair their own devices in the past, announced a self-service repair program late last year. It is unlikely that these companies will be the last, as legislation on the right to repair is gaining momentum around the world.

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