Google adds self-repair options for Pixel phones

More positive news for phone owners looking to take matters into their own hands. Google this morning announced that it’s teaming with iFixit to offer a suite of tools for fixing Pixel handsets. At launch (later this year), kits will be available for common repairs like replacing batteries, displays and camera modules.

Along with those bundles, the company says it’s opening up third-party repair options to include more hardware devices like Chromebooks. Currently Pixel owners who don’t want to crack the phones open themselves can take the device to one of around 750 uBreakiFix locations in the U.S. and Canada. Other options are available for those in Germany, Japan and the U.K.

The move follows similar announcements from Samsung — which also partnered with iFixit — and Apple, which turned heads given its longtime stance against user self-repair. Like others, Google’s focusing on sustainability messaging here.

“When we built the first Pixel phone just five years ago, we made a commitment to design our hardware products in a way that’s sustainable and puts our customers first,” Google Consumer Hardware COO Ana Corrales said in a blog post announcing the news. “There’s more to do, including expanding our repair network and improving repairability across our products.”

Sustainability is certainly a key concern in our throw-away, planned obsolescent culture. It’s precisely what’s driven companies like Fairphone to make user-repairability a centerpiece of their product design. It’s also, notably, what’s driving a lot of ongoing state and local right-to-repair legislation, which has no doubt played a role in these companies’ proactive embrace of repairability.