Riding the right-to-repair wave
In a strange twist, right-to-repair seems to be slowly catching up with smartphone makers who used to actively vilify it. Apple’s Self Service program offers to make original iPhone parts available for people daring enough to fix their device at home, while Samsung recently followed suit with a similar program of its own. Now, Google is jumping on the bandwagon with a partnership with iFixit to provide original OEM parts to independent technicians.
The company announced that parts for phones ranging from the Pixel 2 to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are coming soon to iFixit’s virtual store shelves. Likewise, Google plans to support all future Pixels for DIY repairs moving forward. Parts will be available for purchase both individually and bundled with Fix Kits filled with necessary tools. That means that if you ever need to replace your battery, screen, cameras, and more, you’ll be able to source original, Google-made parts to do it yourself. According to the company, this comes as part of its hardware sustainability commitments — making phones easier to repair, thus extending their lifespan and reducing e-waste.
This partnership comes on the heels of a similar program with iFixit by Samsung to provide official replacement parts for its phones. But just like that announcement, it’s not coming today. Samsung aims for a summer launch for its program, while Google says that you can expect to buy parts for your phone “later this year.” We wouldn’t be surprised if both repair programs launch at similar times. Both companies also offer solid long-term software support for their phones, offering up to 5 years of security updates for their latest flagships. Between extended patches and easy repairs, it’s looking like they’re the phones to get if you want to use them for more than two years.
It’s great to see more companies pushing forward towards user reparability. With any luck, the rest of the industry shifts in this direction soon enough.
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