Way back in March, Samsung joined a growing number of hardware makers announcing self-repair initiatives. The list, which includes similar offers from both Apple and Google, finds companies proactively reacting to potential right to repair legislation. Both Samsung and Google teamed up with popular repair site iFixit for their offerings, providing low-cost tools to fix common device issues.
Beginning today, the companies are providing kits to repair broken screens, back glass and charging ports on the Galaxy S20, S21 and Tab S7+ tablet to users in the States. The kits include parts, tools and step-by-step repair instructions, coupled with a return label to send the broken bits back to Samsung. Kits for additional devices and repairs will roll out down the line.
It’s a different approaches than Apple’s which finds the company shipping iPhone owners professional-grade equipment, including the same glue-melting machine its Geniuses use in-store. The offering has received negative reviews for inaccessibility and pricing, leading many to suggest that making self-repair difficult is, perhaps, part of the point. The iFixit tools, meanwhile, lower the barrier of entry considerably, but likely lack some of the precision of the pro-level offerings.
I’d say anything that makes repairs more accessible to users — and delays devices’ end of life — is probably a net positive. How many people will actually take them up on that offer is another question entirely.
The kits are available through iFixit and Samsung retail stores.