iFixit ends Samsung Self-Repair program citing accessibility challenges

iFixit has announced the conclusion of its two-year partnership with Samsung, aimed at establishing a repair-friendly environment for Galaxy devices.

Despite efforts to set a high standard for repair documentation and assist local repair shops with necessary tools and parts, iFixit reports an inability to meet these objectives.

Challenges Faced

iFixit faced various obstacles that raised doubts about Samsung’s commitment to accessible repairs, including:

  • High part prices, leading consumers to prefer device replacement over repair.
  • Samsung’s device designs, with glued components, necessitating costly pre-glued bundles for repairs.
In response, iFixit has decided to end the partnership, with key changes including:
  • End of Partnership: Effective June 2024, iFixit will cease to be Samsung’s official distributor of third-party parts and tools.
  • No Quantity Limits: Starting next month, there will be no limit of seven Samsung parts per repair shop per quarter.
  • Existing Information: While no current repair information will be removed from iFixit’s platform, new manuals will no longer be developed in collaboration with Samsung.
  • Continued Support: iFixit will continue selling Samsung parts and repair kits, sourcing OEM parts when available and indicating whether they are original or aftermarket.
Challenges with Samsung

iFixit attempted to collaborate with Samsung to produce repair documentation for initial devices but encountered recurring challenges.

Despite public announcements and initiatives, there was a lack of follow-through, reminiscent of their experience with Samsung’s Galaxy Upcycling project.

Due to differing priorities, iFixit found it increasingly challenging to support Samsung devices as their repairability declined.

They will now focus their guide-making efforts on more deserving technologies, while continuing to provide teardowns and repairability scores for noteworthy devices.

Community Involvement

iFixit will maintain the sale of Samsung parts as they have since 2015 and encourage the community to share repair knowledge. Over half of iFixit’s 100,000+ guides are community-written. The removal of part quantity limits will benefit repair shops frustrated by previous restrictions.

Continuing the Mission

iFixit remains committed to promoting repair-friendly practices and legislation. They recently launched repair parts with Kobo and have added over 10,000 new repair parts this year, including laptop batteries and refrigerator ice makers.

iFixit advocates for independent repair businesses, which are threatened by monopolistic practices that restrict access to essential parts and tools.

They are working to pass right-to-repair legislation and collaborating with the Federal Trade Commission and the Copyright Office to support repair rights.

Future Plans

iFixit is expanding its efforts to support a more repairable world:

  • Summer Expansion: Repair Hubs with existing partners will support more devices.
  • Global Reach: More parts will be launched in more countries for a broader range of devices.
  • Scorecards: New repairability scorecards will be released for various device categories.
  • Service Providers: Partnerships with third-party point-of-sale providers will make repair content more accessible.
  • Parts Catalog Expansion: Over 10,000 new parts have been added, covering televisions, PCs, laptops, coffee makers, appliances, and video game consoles.

In their announcement, iFixit stated:

Repair, not replacement, should be the norm. If fixing items were as simple as purchasing new ones, more individuals would opt for it. We persistently prioritize delivering an exceptional experience for our customers and fostering the growth of independent repair businesses.

We will only uphold business partnerships with manufacturers who align with our vision. As Right to Repair laws come into effect this summer, we will assist more manufacturers in implementing repair options for their products.