Samsung launches self-repair programme

Yesterday, Samsung announced that it’s going to start providing repair resources for owners of certain Galaxy devices to fix their own devices in the USA.

Covering the Galaxy S20 and S21 product lines, and the Galaxy Tab S7+ and beginning this summer:

Samsung consumers will get access to genuine device parts, repair tools, and intuitive, visual, step-by-step repair guides. Samsung is collaborating with iFixit, the leading online repair community, on this program

Here are the kinds of repairs they say they’ll support:

To start, Galaxy device owners will be able to replace display assemblies, back glass, and charging ports — and return used parts to Samsung for responsible recycling. In the future, Samsung plans to expand self-repair to more devices and repairs

Notably, it doesn’t sound like they’ll support battery replacements yet, which seems like a major limitation. No word on whether they plan to extend this beyond the USA either.

Even so, it’s great to see that iFixit has been working with Samsung on this and sounds promising, even if a little limited for now. Definitely one to watch.

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Some more information about it in The Verge:

Notably, it looks like every time you’ll replace the screen, you’ll also have to replace the battery!? According to iFixit’s Kyle Wiens:

the Samsung display assemblies would have pre-glued batteries attached to them. This simplifies the repair process for the Galaxy S20 and S21 devices since freeing the battery in those models requires copious amounts of isopropyl alcohol to loosen the battery and careful, strenuous force to pull it out.

It doesn’t look particularly “sustainable”. And it shows the need for a real Right to Repair, including devices actually designed to be more easily serviceable.

That said, I look forward to seeing the now “official” iFixit guides for Samsung - will they look different from the ones already on their website?

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A quick update on this. It looks like this programme is now live, with Samsung offering a small selection of parts for a small selection of devices. Even more so than with other companies’ self-repair programmes, there are quite a few limitations.

Ugo, it looks like you were right - screen and battery repairs require you to buy & replace the whole front assembly (including screen & battery).

It also only seems to cover about 7 devices (when Samsung releases around 40 new devices a year) and is only available in the USA, with no word on whether there are plans to expand it to other countries.

Ars has more:

As does Marton from the Youtube channel TechAltar:

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