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April 1, 2022
Consumer electronics giant Samsung has announced that Galaxy owners will be able to repair their own gadgets starting from this summer.
The self-repair programme applies to the Galaxy S20 and S21 range and the Galaxy Tab S7+. Collaborating with iFixit, known for its gadget ‘teardowns’ and which is apparently ‘the leading online repair community’, customers will be given access to device parts, repair tools, and repair guides in order to fix their busted phones and tablets rather than paying for professional repairs or a replacement.
To begin with Galaxy owners will be able to replace display assemblies, back glass, and charging ports and return used parts to Samsung who says it will recycle them nicely. Plans to expand the self-repair scheme to more devices and repair types are in the works.
The announcement was made by Samsung Electronics America so whether or not this is a global launch we will have to wait and see.
“At Samsung, we’re creating more ways for consumers to extend the lifespan of our products with premium care experiences,” said Ramon Gregory, SVP of Customer Care at Samsung Electronics America. “Availability of self-repair will provide our consumers the convenience and more options for sustainable solutions.”
Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit added: “We are excited to be consulting with Samsung to help them develop a solution for DIY parts and repair information. Every time you fix a device, you’re helping the planet.”
Consumer electronics firms usually discourage you from fiddling with the innards of your gadgets by threatening to invalidate the warranty if you do, and Apple goes further by sealing its sacred electronics into a saprophagous so you couldn’t tinker if you wanted to – meaning laptops can’t even be upgraded to prolong their lives before they are consigned to a landfill.
You don’t have to be a full-on Extinction Rebellion campaigner, screaming and glued to the top of train carriage, to recognise that we do live in somewhat of a throwaway culture. And with upgrade cycles for mobile phones in particular being what they are, and as ubiquitous as they are, it’s quite shocking to think about how many phones must be lobbed away on a daily basis.
Cynics have often characterised this as being a feature not a bug in the system, based on the fair assumption that manufacturers would like you to come back and make another purchase as regularly as possible. So aside form sounding like a nice practical environmentally friendly (and wallet friendly) initiative, this sets an interesting precedent by one of the largest consumer electronics firms in the world.
Image credit: iFixit
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