Google say they want Pixel phones to be repairable without special tools

Steven Nickel, director of consumer hardware operations at Google, says they want to make Pixels easily repairable at home.

“Fixtures are the tools you need to repair them,” Nickel explains. “We want to get to a point where you can reach into a kitchen drawer and be able to replace your screen.”

Take the article with a pinch of salt, as it says on right-to-repair that “[…]Google has been a big part of that movement”, which I would not agree with.

But, still, interesting to hear.

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While Google in their white paper on repair were very much anti-ecodesign legislation, they have no choice but to comply with upcoming EU laws. That’s why software-wise they’ve already increased the number of years of support for both OS updates and expected security updates [not for my “old” Pixel, but that’s a different story]. In general parts are available via iFixit, and the legislation demands that screens as well as batteries should be user replaceable for new models coming to the market from June 2025…let’s see how it works out!

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Interesting spot @neil,

I’m shocked to hear that a large corporation is claiming to have always been at the vanguard of a populist movement…shocked, I tell you, shocked… :roll_eyes:

As an addition to @ugo’s point about Google et al having to adapt within new restrictions.

I was speaking to a senior lawyer about R2R and legal carve-outs in order to step around legislation. He’d heard that a ‘phone manufacturer’ has been investigating if they could avoid the replaceable battery rules using the same water-based exemptions as toothbrushes. The argument being that their devices are used when it’s raining…

…the game of whack-a-mole continues…

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@Lee_Grant I’m not surprised by the attempt to use the exemption of the upcoming battery regulation, but I don’t think this is going to work, for smartphones. For two technical reasons:

  • The battery regulation and its related exemptions (guidelines for them have not been finalised as of yet) kicks in from 2027, while the smartphone regulation will require any new phone put on the (EU) market from June 2025 to comply with user-replaceable batteries.
  • Manufacturers already have an exemption to making user-replaceable batteries in smartphones for 2025: they need to ensure that the batteries retain 80% of capacity after 1,000 cycles (as opposed to 800 - new minimum requirement), and that the device meets “IP67 rating” (protection from immersion at depth of at least 1 m for 30 minutes).
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…and that @ugo, is why you’re the guv’nor! :person_with_crown:

I wasn’t aware of those details - :blush: - certainly seems like it’ll be hard for manufacturers to escape down that route…

…but then again, they are very, very sneaky… :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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