Google has announced a partnership with iFixit to allow access to safe device repairs in the event that users’ Pixel phones are damaged. The company joins Samsung which also recently announced a similar partnership.
The partnership will see genuine Google parts available for purchase from iFixit for Pixel phones from the Pixel 2 through the Pixel 6. The program will also include future Pixel smartphone models and include common repair parts like batteries, displays, and cameras. These items will be available individually or as part of kits that will include tools like screwdriver bits and spudgers. The spare parts will be made available to users in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and countries in the EU where Pixel phones are sold.
Google says that the partnership is part of a goal to improve the repairability of its devices, thereby extending their life and usefulness and allowing customers to make more sustainable choices.
On that same note, Google says that starting this year, 100% of Google hardware products will include recycled materials with a drive to maximize recycled content wherever possible. The company says that it is working towards 100% carbon-neutral shipments of Google hardware products to and from our direct customers, as well as working to achieve Zero Waste to landfill certification in 2022 and plastic-free packaging by 2025.
The Right to Repair
Samsung announced a similar program that it would be working on with iFixit in March, and more details are expected to come in the following months that will fully explain what customers can expect.
These Android repair programs follow repair initiatives by Apple and Microsoft which both announced self service programs in recent months. Microsoft is also working with iFixit and has made official Microsoft Surface repair tools available to certain service providers. As The Verge notes, Motorola and Steam have entered into similar partnerships.
Apple’s repair program was announced in November of 2021 and, when it launches later this year, will allow customers to join the more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers and gain access to parts, tools, and manuals to make repairs to Apple products.
Cynics of these repair programs will say that changes to company policies are less about environmental sustainability or customer choice and more about getting ahead of possible new laws. Apple, Samsung, and Google showed no movement toward allowing customers to repair their own devices — even going so far as to make such repairs more difficult — until the Federal Trade Commission approved a landmark Right to Repair policy in July of last year. But even if their hearts may or may not in the right place, the end result is still a win for consumers.
Image credits: Header photo courtesy of iFixit.