Google And iFixIt Score Another Win For Android Users With DIY Pixel Repair Program
The right-to-repair movement continues to gain momentum, and the teardown specialists at iFixIt are helping it right along. To wit, Samsung last month announced it was teaming up with iFixit on a Galaxy repair program that will see the latter offer genuine replacement parts and detailed guides. And now Google has formed an alliance to do the same with its Pixel phones.
Beginning sometime later this year, Pixel owners will be able to buy genuine spare parts from iFixIt to repair their handsets on their own. The teardown site will carry replacement components for Pixel devices dating back to the Pixel 2 and on up to Google's latest flagship, the Pixel 6 Pro. Google says future Pixel models will be included as well.
Parts on offer will include "things like batteries, replacement displays, cameras and more." These will be made available individually or as part of various repair kits that will come with tools like screwdriver bits and spudgers. Each kit will also come with an iOpener, which is an opening tool designed to apply direct and even heat to components that are glued together.
Here's the full list of included parts (when buying a kit)...
- Replacement pre-cut adhesive
- iFixit Opening Picks (Set of 6)
- iFixit Opening Tool
- Suction Handle
- Angled Tweezers
- Precision Bit Driver with Integrated SIM Eject Tool
- 4 mm Precision Bits appropriate for the specific phone
It's not clear how much these kits or individual replacement parts will cost, which is obviously an important factor. Especially when it comes to repairing older models that aren't worth much any more. Google and iFixIt are at least saying the right things, so we'll see.
"If we’re going to build a sustainable electronics industry, consumers must have options to repair products themselves. Google is making repair more affordable and accessible, even in places without repair shops. We are committed to enabling repairs at a place and time of your choosing," says iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens.
One other thing worth pointing out is that Google and iFixIt specifically mention replacement batteries. This was curious absent from Samsung's announcement, perhaps because replacing the battery in its Galaxy handsets can be difficult, depending on the model. We don't have repair stats to digest, but would venture a guess that replacing the battery is the biggest reason why someone might crack open their smartphone (batteries degrade over time).
In any event, we're cautiously optimistic for the Pixel repair program and will have to wait and see how it actually turns out.